Government is likely to issue Ghana’s third Eurobond by the end of August to raise $1.5 billion, if it secures approval of all the transaction advisors working on the bond sale.
Joy Business gathers that government is looking at the end of this month or first week in September to close the bond sale, by which time it would have also secured commitment from potential investors in the country and outside.
Sources say the team working on the bond is about 70 percent complete with their work to pay the way for the Eurobond auction.
However one issue that government has to deal with is the interest they are likely to pay on the bond sale, with the yield on second year bond hovering around 9 percent, which translate into an interest of about 80 million dollars every year. The country is likely to end up paying an interest higher than 9 percent.
However with a little over 5 percent interest which neighboring Ivory Coast got on their recent bond issue, Ghana could also get a good rate if it is able to convince investors that prospect for the country is good despite the current challenges.
Many would be looking forward to see when the $1.5 billion would hit government’s accounts as both the governor of the bank of Ghana and Finance Minister Seth Terkper had maintained that the Eurobond inflows as well the cocoa loan syndication would go a long way to help stabilize the falling Ghana cedi.
Some market watchers and economists fear government might be raising the hopes of Ghanaians too high, because proceeds from the Eurobond and the cocoa loan might only stabilize the cedi for just a short while.
This is because proceeds from the Eurobond have been already been tied to some projects and may prove impossible for government to just release it into the system to halt the cedi’s free fall.
A source close to Government has however maintained that aim of raising the bond is not just to stabilize the Ghana cedi, but rather to extend the tenure of previous bonds, support capital expenditure in the budget and refinance debts that are maturing. The source maintains that all foreign loans bring in forex, indicating the bond is no exception.
The source also maintains that the country does not use cocoa loan to raise forex.
Government has settled on Barclays, Standard Chartered Bank, Duetche Bank as lead managers for the Eurobond, It would be co-managed by Databank, EDC Stock Brokers and Strategic African Securities as the local partners for the transaction.
[Posted by GN]