July 16, 2018 / 7:20 PM / in 3 months

Bank of Ghana annuls Belstar Capital purchase of control of ADB

ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana’s central bank said on Monday it had canceled the acquisition of 51 pct of Agriculture Development Bank by a consortium led by U.S. investor Belstar Capital because the stakes had been acquired inappropriately.

The Bank of Ghana also banned all directors appointed to ADB’s board by the consortium, it said in a statement.

Belstar’s local and U.S. offices could not immediately be reached for comment.

The central bank said shares acquired by Belstar and an affiliate, Starmount, were obtained “under questionable circumstances” with funds it had earlier advanced to distressed local lender Unibank.

Bank of Ghana in March placed Unibank under the administration of accounting firm KPMG to save it from imminent collapse, it has said.

Monday’s statement accused Belstar and Starmount of engaging in other questionable, unsafe, and unsound transactions involving Unibank to the detriment of Ghana’s financial system.

“The Bank of Ghana considers that Belstar and Starmount are not fit and proper persons and (it) cannot permit them to continue to hold shares acquired directly or indirectly in ADB,” it stated.

Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; editing by Richard Balmforth

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