Guaranty Trust Bank (Ghana) Limited, has participated in a USD80 million syndicated Term Loan Facility arranged by Rand Merchant Bank(RMD) as part financing for the design and construction of an unloading jetty at the Tema Port to help increase the number of shipping vessels that could berth at any one particular time. The sum of USD42 million has earlier been arranged under Phase 1 of the financing.
GTBank as part of its involvement in the Phase II of the Tema Port expansion programme, participated to the tune of USD20 million in the three-bank syndication. FirstRand Bank Limited, acting through its Rand Merchant Division and as lead arranger / facility agent funded USD40 million, with the other participating institution, RMB Fund, availing the remaining USD20 million of the syndication amount.
In the Phase II of the expansion programme, the perpendicular bulk unloading jetty would be extended from the 150 metres reached in Phase I to about 450 metres and dredged to a depth of 16 metres when concluded.
The syndicated term loan facility to finance the construction of the jetty was mandated by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) in anticipation of increased sea trade activity due to expected growth in imports and to some extent, exports in the country.
Moreover, the construction of the new jetty inside the present port basin will help in the handling of vessels with dry bulk cargoes such as cement, clinker and gypsum. The new jetty is also planned to accommodate the handling of other commodities when the need arises.
Presently, the size of the jetty can only accommodate a few vessels and as a result, the average waiting period for ships in the anchorage area outside the port before berthing has increased to over a week. This situation invariably contributes to increased cost of imports into the economy generally.
Commenting on GTBank’s involvement in the syndication, the Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Lekan Sanusi, stated that, “At the end of it all, GTBank and the others involved in this syndication would have made a very significant contribution towards the development of Ghana”.
The Group Head, Corporate Bank 1, Mr. Nelson Ofosu expressed his gratitude to FirstRand Bank Limited, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and all others involved in this syndication for the opportunity extended to GTBank to be a part of this exciting achievement.
“As the only local bank in this syndication, we remain most grateful and will continue to explore new ways of working together”, he said.
It would be recalled that in December 2011 a USD42 million five-year loan facility was concluded for GPHA then with Rand Merchant Bank as lead arranger (USD22 million) and Ghana International Bank as lender (USD20 million). This facility represented the Phase I of the construction of a new jetty at the Tema Port with a total estimated cost of US$135m.
The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority is a statutory organization wholly owned by the Ministry of Transport. It manages and operates the various ports in conjunction with a host of private service providers in the areas of vessel handling, stevedoring, transfer, storage, receipt and delivery of containerized and general cargoes. Others are safety, security and conservancy services.
During its relatively brief years of operation in Ghana, Guaranty Trust Bank (Ghana) Limited has established itself as a pacesetter and reference point in the financial services industry in Ghana. Aside its strength in retail and electronic banking, the bank has capacity to also handle big ticket transactions as evidenced by this and other financing deals.
At the 2013 Ghana Banking Awards ceremony held in Accra, Guaranty Trust Bank (Ghana) Limited was named, aside other awards, as Co-winner, Trade Finance Deal of the Year Award in recognition of its participation in a similar loan syndication deal for a government agency. Such activities go to prove the Bank’s contribution towards the development of the country.
The bank recently opened a branch in the GPHA Towers at the Tema Hobour area to cater for the many businesses, agents and individuals who ply their trade within the port environs.