The Nation’s first fully dedicated mortgage bank— GoH Betoch (housing) Bank—which is under formation currently seems to be gathering momentum. The Bank which is being promoted by a number of well-known personalities in the banking and construction sector, such as an ex-banking regulator and vice governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), Getahun Nana, the organizing committee also features a prominent real estate personality—Gebreyesus Igata of Gift Real Estate Plc— and other former banks presidents like Fasika Kebede, Amerga Kassa and Araya Gebregziabher, has officially announced the beginning of share sales on Thursday in an event held at the Skylight Hotel.

According to the prospectus study that circulated among investors, the existing banking sector is allocating only 10 percent of its overall credit services to the growing construction sector and even lesser amount to the housing subsector; and hence, GoH is said to be strategic in filling this financing gap. Aisha Mohammed, Construction Minister, who was also in attendance at the launching ceremony, reiterated the strategic nature this new private initiative and vowed full support representing the government of Ethiopia.

The new share company under formation seeks to join the banking sector with a capital of one billion birr, planning to have at least 50 percent of it (500 million) paid before holding its first general assembly meeting. To this effect, Aisha urged all relevant investors to rally behind the bank claiming that “it is more than just an investment opportunity”. In fact, not a lot of share companies received such high government commitment and node in the past, although some banking experts assert the tough sectoral-banking landscape in Ethiopia and the potential challenges facing GoH.

A single share is worth 1,000 birr and the minimum share that can be bought is 50 shares worth 50,000 birr.