Investment and investment company Databank has withdrawn its services in the Agyapa royalty contract as a financial adviser.
Via the dual listing of the Agyapa Gold Royalties Corporation on the Ghana and London Stock Exchanges, the company and Imara Holding Limited jointly acted as transaction advisors for the monetization of Ghana’s gold royalties.
In a letter sent to Imara Holdings on February 10, 2021, and seen by citinewsroom.com, Databank made the announcement.
In the letter, the company clarified that, due to the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-affiliation Atta’s with Databank, a company he co-founded, it took the decision following attacks on its image by political actors.
These attacks have escalated during the 2020 election season, the investment and brokerage company said.
During the political season leading up to the general elections of December 2020, the Databank Board of Directors noted with grave concern repeated attempts by some political actors to tarnish our hard-won credibility painstakingly built over the last 30 years by unfairly leveraging our participation and participation in the transaction as one of the transaction advisory services.’
We think this is largely due to the affiliation of the Minister of Finance with Databank as its co-founder.
Though persuaded of the immeasurable benefits to be reaped by the Republic of Ghana from the transaction, the Board of Databank is of the opinion that the tumult created by Databank’s participation in the transaction, coupled with insinuations and aspersions levied on the company’s image in the run-up to the election, does not only seriously compromise the opportunity to carry out such a transaction.
Databank’s company CEO explained.
Although the company noted that the action was a tough decision to make, it claimed that it had to do so in order to protect its hard-won image.
“It is this deep market knowledge and extensive experience that makes us understand that, despite our sterling record over the years, the potential damage from the fall out of all the negative press about Databank’s involvement in the Agyapa transaction, particularly the proposed IPO, is incalculable on both the domestic and international financial markets.”
“The above reasons have forced us to make a difficult decision to formally withdraw our services as your partner and co-transaction consultant on this mandate.”
The government then set up Agyapa Royalties Limited through the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) to securitize Ghana’s gold royalties.
This was after Parliament approved the Agyapa Mineral Royalties Limited deal with the Ghanaian government on August 14, amid the minority’s walkout.
In return, the firm plans to raise between $500 million and $750 million to invest in construction ventures on the Ghana and London stock exchanges.
Since then, the decision has been strongly criticised as the government has ordered the suspension of further talks on it.
Unique Prosecutor’s Office review
In a 64-page paper, an investigation of the sale by the then special prosecutor, Martin Amidu, raised red flags over the agreement and swiped the finance minister and other officials who contributed to the procedures that led to Parliament’s ratification.
He insisted that prior to the legislative consent, many protocols were flouted.
But the Special Prosecutor’s allegations were dismissed by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, and other government officials.
Subsequently, President Akufo-Addo ordered the Ministry of Finance to give the agreement back for review to Parliament.