The chamber hosted the maiden AmCham Money Series featuring Standard Chartered Bank Ghana, to discuss among other issues, the effects of coronavirus on the country’s economy, investing during and post COVID-19, and the $1 billion SC bank financing for companies.
The event was the first of series of webinars to be hosted by the chamber to provide critical information to help businesses mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
Speakers at the first AmCham Money Series included Jojo Bannerman, Head of Financial Markets Sales at SC Ghana Limited, Xorse Godzi, the Country Head for Commercial Banking at SC Ghana Limited, and Setor Quashigah, Head of Wealth Management at SC Ghana Limited.
Jojo Bannerman highlighted the country’s economic sectors that have been impacted by the pandemic. Though he cited the Fiscal Gap of GHS 11.4bn (2.9% of GDP) and the worsening of Fiscal Deficit from -4.7% to -6.6% (SCB Research -7.8%; IMF -6.4%), the disruptions in global supply chains and the shortfalls in petroleum receipts of GHS 5.679 bn (assume 30 $/bbl average price) as some of the negative impacts of the virus. He mentioned there were some gainers.
He said with the new trend of working from home, companies have had to acquire gadgets and data plans for employees. This has positively impacted the business of companies operating the Information & Communication sector, he said.
Other gainers include the food value-chain and retail sales, which picked in March 2020 due to panic buying that preseeded the partial lockdown.
Mr. Bannerman also said companies are adopting what is termed the new normal by shifting to telework (Work from home/ Flexi-Work schedules), education & online certification, and digital commerce and marketing (accelerate the use of digital payment solutions).
Xorse Godzi, the Country Head for Commercial Banking at SC Ghana Limited, shared the bank’s response to the pandemic in terms of relief. The Standard Chartered Bank Group made available at least USD 1 billion financing commitment at preferential rates to pharmaceuticals and medical supplies companies, healthcare providers such as hospitals and pharmacies, and non-medical companies that can support the fight against the virus.
Local clients of the bank can also access this fund, according to Xorse, over USD 10 million has been approved with additional potential opportunities of over USD 20 million.
In response to the President’s Address and Bank of Ghana interventions, the bank has reduced interest rates and offered repayment tenor extensions for relevant existing clients. They have also put a freeze on fees for relevant transactions within Retail Banking.
Standard Chartered Bank Ghana is also supporting vulnerable communities in Ghana to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
Head of Wealth Management at SC Ghana Limited, Setor Quashigah, talked about investing during and post COVID-19. She Shared tips on growing wealth and advised investors to know their risk profile, invest for the long term, and be disciplined; stay the cause. Mrs. Quashigah also said properties and family finances must be protected through insurance.
You need a plan to invest. According to Setor, you must assess your financial position to know your net worth, be mindful of your periodic obligations, invest only the part of the Net Liquid assets you do not need in the short term, use income investing strategies to fund your recurrent expenses, build a portfolio of short, medium and long term investments, and diversify.
Mrs. Quashigah also shared some exciting Standard Chartered Bank products, learn more here https://www.sc.com/gh/invest/