Ghana raises $1.16 billion in multiple bonds to refinance debt


By Staff | Business & Financial Times, Ghana December 7, 2017
Independence Square in Accra.
Stig Nygaard

Ghana sold 5.29 billion cedis ($1.16 bln) worth of long-term bonds last week Thursday, dominated by re-openings of previous bond issues by the major commodity exporter to help restructure its high public debt, lead arrangers said.

Ghana is grappling with budget deficits, inflation and a volatile local currency, all of which have forced the government to sign a $918 credit deal with the International Monetary Fund.

Apart from a new five-year paper, sold at a yield of 17.6 percent, the West African country reopened existing bonds with maturities of seven, 10 and 15 years, the joint book-runners Barclays Bank, Stanbic Bank and brokers Strategic African Securities said in a statement.

The government of President Nana Akufo-Addo, who took power in January, is trying to rebalance the country’s finances and narrow the public debt, which stood at 138.9 billion cedis or 68.6 percent of GDP as of the end of September.

A source close to the transaction said nearly half of Thursday’s total sale consisted of treasury bills that were restructured into long-term bonds.

“In effect, only about half of the cumulative 5.29 billion cedis accepted was fresh borrowing. The other half is only converting existing treasury bill investments into longer maturities,” the source said.

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