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General News of Monday, 16 December 2013

Source: radioxyzonline.com

President’s brother defraying Merchant Bank debt

The President’s brother’s firm, Engineers & Planners, according to information available to XYZ News, has provided details to the Africa Export Import Bank for an amount of US$28 million to be credited to Merchant Bank Ghana toward settling the firm’s controversial indebtedness to the ailing Ghanaian bank.

The money is expected to hit the accounts of Merchant Bank Ghana by Friday December 20.

XYZ News has learnt that the processes toward the payment of the debt were started on Friday, December 13, 2013.

E&P’s indebtedness to the Bank has been cited as one of the bad loan portfolios which had plunged the Bank into the doldrums.

A letter signed by E&P’s CEO Ibrahim Mahama, dated December 13, 2013, according to the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper’s, Kweku Baako Jr., said: “We wish to borrow a tranche one loan…on a proposed utilization date of 20 December 2013”.

According to the letter, “the proceeds of this tranche one loan should be credited to Merchant Bank Ghana Ltd.”

Merchant Bank had refused to guarantee a loan from the Africa Export Import Bank, part of which would have been used to defray the $28 million debt which was reduced from $38 million to enable the company to pay.

E&P therefore went into another agreement with Access Bank to guarantee a loan of $72 million part of which will now be used to pay Merchant Bank’s debt.

A 90% stake of the ailing Bank is being sold to Fortiz Private Equity Fund for Ghc90 million.

Anti-graft Campaigner Andy Awuni is court attempting to frustrate the sale on grounds that it is a rip off.

Organised labour has also expressed grave concerns about the sale and asked the Government of Ghana to pull the plugs on the transaction.

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