The financial sector reforms and the return of NAM1: A Citi Business News Review of 2019

Nana Appiah Mensah, CEO of Menzgold Gold Dealership This year has witnessed a number of interesting events and happenings that have in one way or the other shaped the local economy. These happenings have largely had an impact on the economies of individuals both positive and negative in some cases.

The year started on quite a sour note for Heritage and Premium banks.

The central bank announced that the two were the latest casualties in the ongoing banking reforms.

Heritage Bank’s majority shareholder Seidu Agongo was adjudged by the BoG as not being fit to promote a bank.

Premium Bank, on the other hand, had fallen foul of a number of regulatory measures forcing the central bank to crack its whip making the two banks the last set of banks to have their licenses revoked.

Following that, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Ghana took a decision to slash the policy rate by 100 basis points to 16 percent – a decision which came about as a surprise considering the fact that other indicators pointed to a rate stay.

Following the central bank’s shock decision, portfolio investors started to react by selling off their investment in government securities. This led the local currency to experience a free fall against the US dollar.

In the period that followed the MPC decision of January 28, the cedi within days lost more than 3 percent of its value — prompting calls for the central bank to intervene by auctioning more dollars to stem the fall. The cedi crossed the 5 cedi mark eventually and has since stayed above that mark.


The central bank as part of efforts to arrest the situation announced a raft of measures for the trading of forex. It termed the measures market conduct rules which among other things were geared towards providing the Bank with proper documentation on dollar trading.

While the cedi took a beating from the dollar, the consumer price index or inflation, recorded for the month of January, declined to 9 percent. This was the lowest in the past six years, according to data from the Ghana Statistical Service.And the big one for the month was the official takeover of ECG by the Power Distribution Services (PDS). The company secured its business operating license that gave it the legal mandate to directly run operations of ECG. March Ghana formally completed the 3-year IMF extended credit facility programme whose due date […]

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