Funds News

Ghana special prosecutor resigns over gold royalty fund listing

ACCRA, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Ghana’s special prosecutor resigned on Monday over a dispute surrounding a planned $500 million initial public offering (IPO) of gold royalty fund Agyapa Royalties in London, which his office has said was open to corruption.

Ghana had said it was delaying the listing in October following concerns raised by the main opposition party about governance, and pending an inquiry by the special prosecutor’s office.

Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu said in a report on Oct. 15 that the appointment of the advisors to the transaction was untransparent and raised the possibility of “bid rigging” and “illicit financial flows”, findings that he says were not acted on. No criminal charges have been filed in the matter.

A statement from the presidency on Nov. 2 recommended that the matter be put to parliament, but only after presidential elections in December.

The presidency was not reachable for comment on Monday. It has previously said that it was not seeking secrecy and would comply with international corporate governance standards.

“The reaction I received for daring to produce the Agyapa Royalties Limited Transactions anti-corruption report convinces me ... that I was not intended to exercise any independence as the Special Prosecutor,” Amidu said in a statement announcing his resignation.

Ghana wants to take advantage of gold’s strong performance this year to raise $400 million to $500 million from the IPO. Agyapa Royalties, a government-backed fund that holds equity interests including mining royalties in the state’s gold assets, has hired banks to list on the London Stock Exchange.

But the deal has drawn political pushback.

The opposition National Democratic Congress has questioned its proposed registration in Jersey, an offshore British tax haven. (Reporting By Christian Akorlie Writing by Edward McAllister Editing by Jonathan Oatis)


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