Bayport lists on GAX

•   Mrs Quartey (second from right), being assisted by  other dignitaries  to toll the bell to symbolise the listing of  Bayport on the GAX.

• Mrs Quartey (second from right), being assisted by other dignitaries to toll the bell to symbolise the listing of Bayport on the GAX.

Bayport Financial Services Plc yesterday listed two tranches of its medium-term notes worth GH¢78.5 million, the largest Ghana cedi denominated bonds, on the Ghana Alternative Market (GAX).

The notes are part of a 200-million note programme of the company to help it to reduce debt and boost working capital.

It is also the fourth listing of debt instrument on the GAX and would help Bayport Ghana to diversify its domestic funding sources and reduce dependence on foreign denominated funding.

Speaking at the listing ceremony on the floor of the Ghana Stock Exchange, Mrs Mona Quartey, Deputy Minister of Finance, said the GAX would help to unlock access to financing, which the small and medium scale enterprises require to expand.

She said the mission of GAX was consistent with government’s programme to expand the frontiers of credit provision.

The Managing Director of Bayport Ghana, Kofi Adu-Mensah said Bayport had in the past 12 years been providing financial services to the formal and informal sectors of Ghana, focusing on individuals who are at the lower end of the earning spectrum.

However, he said, funding for its operations was skewed towards foreign denominated funds, which comes with inherent foreign exchange risk and losses.

He said the listing would give Bayport Ghana access to significant funding from the domestic capital market to cater for the growing financial needs of its increasing customers in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.

“Today as we list the successful 78.5 million Ghana cedis note issuance which is part of Bayport 200 million medium term note programme on the Ghana alternative market, we are confidently saying our promise to our customers would be fulfilled, our promise to our shareholders would be fulfilled and now our promise to individuals who invested in the bonds through a fund manager also would be fulfilled,” he said.

“We will all be winning together and reaping from the success of a domestically Ghanaian funded business that is thriving to bring affordable financial services to all,”Mr Adu-Mensah added.

Mr. Kwame Pianim, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bayport, called for collaboration and broad consultations over decisions that would affect the smooth performance of the Ghana Stock Exchange.

He urged institutional investors to try to sell some of their holdings to boost the liquidity of the stock market to attract more investors.

Mr. Kofi Yamoah, the Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange, said given all incentives the listed debt market could grow bigger.

He said the new Income Tax law, which had taken away all incentives previously enjoyed on the stock market, was threatening the viability of the market.

“As we strive to improve liquidity, government must complement the efforts to raise investment,” he said.

Mr. Yamoah said there are plans to migrate the debt instruments onto the Ghana Fixed Income Platform.

He urged Bayport Ghana to share information with investors to enhance transparency.

Bayport Ghana began operations in 2012 and currently has 32 branches, 350 staff and 120,000 customers.

Stories: David Adadevoh

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