The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rev Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh has advised financial journalists in Ghana to remain objective in their reportages on financial issues in the country and not present themselves as experts.
Speaking on the role of financial journalists in the capital market at a training workshop for journalists in Kempinski Hotel, Accra, the Regulator stated that offering pieces of financial advice requires licensing from relevant authorities, thus journalists must not be seen exceeding their basic role of providing public information on the financial markets, giving recommendations or making analysis.
Making specific reference to Section 135 of the Security and Industry Act, 2016, Rev Ogbamey Tetteh said it is an offence for any journalist to act as a financial analyst.
His comments came on the back of the media coverage of the reported takeover of adb by UniBank.
Although the banks have debunked the reports, Rev Ogbamey believes such controversies and fears could be avoided if journalists stay out of sharing opinions on such transactions in the market.
The training workshop, which is part of USAID’s Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project (FinGAP), a collaboration with the Institute of Economic and Financial Journalists(IFEJ) to enhance the capacity of financial journalists on the Capital Market.
Media reports on Wednesday suggested that four shareholders of adb, comprising Belstar Capital, Starmount Development company, EDC as well as SIC Financial Services Limited, had pledged their shares, proceeds, entitlement and voting rights to uniBank, giving it the power to take over the bank.
But in a press release signed by the chairman of the bank and copied to Citi Business News, adb debunked the publication, adding that a pledge by the shareholders does not give uniBank the power to take over the bank.
“It is the opinion of adb that a pledge does not have the effect of the transfer of ownership. Thus if the shareholders mentioned herein have pledged their shares together with any benefits or privileges attached thereto that will not have the effect of making Unibank a shareholder of the Agricultural Development Bank Limited or constitute a takeover of the Bank,”.