March 7, 2018 / 4:40 PM / 6 months ago

Ghana suspends ADB stock trading pending clarity on takeover bid

ACCRA, March 7 (Reuters) - The Ghana Stock Exchange said it had suspended trading in shares of Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday after its shareholders pledged stakes totalling 51 percent to another lender.

Unibank announced on Wednesday that a group of financial houses that cumulatively control the majority stake in ADB, had pledged their shares, entitlement and voting rights to it as part of a takeover bid.

“We are taking this action so that ADB provides full information and clarity on the matter including whether the purported takeover complies with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Bank of Ghana requirements,” the stock exchange said in a statement.

Central bank governor Ernest Addison said on Wednesday that no approval had been given for a takeover by Unibank. ADB declined immediate comment on Wednesday.

The Ghanaian state owns the single-largest stake in ADB, which has been seen as a strategic lender to support agriculture production. The bank was in distress until last year when the government appointed a new managing director to turn it around. (Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by Aaron Ross and David Evans)

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