SIGA will list 11 state entities on the stock exchange

The State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA) has shortlisted 11 State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to be listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).

This follows a review of 36 companies, 11 of which were shortlisted as the first cohort to be listed and raise capital with the GSE.

The SIGA set up a technical and steering committee in February last year, with representatives from GSE, SIGA, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC), to review the performance of public entities.

Candidates for registration

Among the shortlisted are Ghana Rubber Estates Limited, Twifo Oil Palm Plantation, Ghana National Gas Company Ltd, Consolidated Bank Ghana Limited, Ghana Reinsurance Co. Ltd and SIC Life.

The others are PSC Tema Shipyard, State Housing Company Ltd, TDC Company Limited, GHACEM and GIHOC Distilleries Ltd.

SIGA Managing Director Mr Edward Boateng, who told the Daily Graphic in an interview, said Cabinet approval was needed before the companies could be listed.

“The committee’s mandate was to identify, recommend and oversee the raising of capital and the listing of SIGA’s portfolio companies on the GSE,” he said.

Mr Boateng was speaking to the Daily Graphic about SIGA’s strategies to turn around state-owned enterprises (SOEs) which the finance ministry said had been making losses since 2015.

Strict compliance

He said that several strategies are being deployed to make state entities profitable and able to contribute significantly to the development of the country.

“Immediately, we will continue to ensure strict compliance with key sections of the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act 2016 (Act 921) and the Public Financial Management Regulations 2019 (LI 2378) on financial reporting. and accountability,” he said.

Mr. Boateng explained that strict compliance would ensure that SIGA would have up-to-date financial information on companies for quick decision-making.

“In this way, we will eliminate the problems of entities having so many years of arrears in the audit of their finances,” he said.

He said that under his leadership, the authority would strengthen performance contracting systems to ensure targets were tailored to sustainable operations and entity performance.

2022 target

This year, he said, SIGA had set itself the goal of ensuring that state-owned enterprises contribute at least 30 percent to total productivity, measured by gross domestic product (GDP), and the authority was putting put in place key interventions to help achieve the goal.

“We will do this by signing performance contracts, monitoring and evaluating performance and linking performance to management and board compensation,” Boateng said.

“There will also be recommendations to sanction underperforming boards and management,” he added.

Challenges

Mr. Boateng explained that in addition to policy inconsistency, there were other challenges at SIGA that needed to be addressed, including strengthening SIGA’s capacity in terms of personnel, logistics, among others, to effectively discharge its mandate.

He said there was also a need to streamline SIGA’s relationship with key institutions, such as the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Ghana, among others, to clarify roles, avoid duplication, create synergies and foster closer collaboration to ensure efficient and cost-effective operations of state-owned enterprises, where appropriate.

He said there were also legacy debt issues that had stifled the functioning of some specific entities that needed immediate attention.

He also said there were issues with the lack of capitalization of some entities and the public sector mindset of some boards, managers and employees of some entities.

Recovery strategy

To help improve matters, SIGA would make a presentation to Cabinet on its portfolio management strategy, which would outline which SIGA-recommended entities the government should continue to maintain and monitor, which ones to divest (fully or partially) and which ones to recapitalize.

He said SIGA was currently discussing the possibility of a debt-for-equity swap, whereby the government would absorb some of the inherited debt of certain selected entities.

Mr. Boateng added that SIGA’s engagements with the GSE also presented another opportunity for specific entities to take advantage of the market to raise long-term funds.

“The SIGA will publish and ensure compliance with the Corporate Governance Code, which aims to inculcate good corporate governance practices within entity boards,” he added.

Fund

There are 183 SOEs, including SOEs, Joint Ventures (JVCs), and Other SOEs (COSEs), collectively referred to as Specified Entities (SEs).

SE performance has largely trended downward.

The entities increased their losses from GH¢2.1 billion in 2015 to GH¢5.3 billion in 2020, with a compound annual growth of 16%.

By the end of December 2021, only 31 out of 51 SOEs, 22 out of 89 OSEs and 22 out of 43 JVCs had submitted audited financial statements for 2020 to the Ministry of Finance, in blatant disregard of the reporting requirements specified in the PFM Act. of 2016 and its regulations, as well as the SIGA law of 2019.

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