A consortium of banks have offered to lend a total of US$2.6 billion to the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to be used to purchase cocoa beans in the 2015/2016 cocoa season.
The amount is 44 per cent higher than the US$1.8 billion that the board budgeted for and got Parliamentary approval to raise through the international financial market.
As a result, Graphic Online can confirm that the board will sign for only the US$1.8 billion later today in Paris, France, and return the remainder to the participating banks.
Interest on the loan has also been pegged at 1.25 per cent compared to the 2014/5 facility, which was repaid at a rate of one per cent.
This year's loan is to be used to fund cocoa purchases from licensed cocoa buyers. The board is hopeful of producing 850,000 tones of the bean in the current season, sufficient enough to repay the current facility before a next loan is raised for the 2016/2017 season.
The money is expected to hit the Bank of Ghana account early next month after which it would be used to soar up national reserves while helping stabilise the cedi.
Sources close to the transaction told Graphic Online the board had earlier sent out proposals to 70 foreign banks and 22 local banks to participate in the transaction, which has now become an annual affair looked forward to by the global financial market.
The over subscription of the loan comes in the wake of a grim outlook in the global financial market, which has impacted negatively on international transactions worldwide.
Here in Ghana, the Ministry of Finance has already delayed plans to raise US$1.5 billion through a Eurobond that would have matured in ten years as a result of the turbulence in the market.
The 2014 Eurobond, which was one billion dollars, attracted a rate of 8.78 per cent and the ministry was hopeful of getting a better rate this year.
Source: Daily Graphic
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