Source: Ghana | Reuters
Ghana will seek a bridge finance of between $300 million and $1 billion in the first half of this year to redeem maturing domestic debt, according to a memo to parliament signed by Finance Minister Seth Terkper and seen by Reuters on Friday.
The government will also issue a Eurobond of up to $1.5 billion in the second half of the year to retire the bridge finance, refinance domestic and external debt and fund 2015 capital expenditure, according to the memo.
The government has started talks with a consortium including Bank of America Merrill Lynch as international advisors and Belstar Capital as local arrangers for the bridge finance.
The finance plans come as Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Ghana’s sovereign rating and put the country on a negative outlook to reflect an increasing debt burden, large fiscal imbalances and a sharp weakening of the cedi currency.
The downgrade is a further blow to the economic reputation of the West African country, which for years saw strong growth rates due to its exports of gold, cocoa and oil but faces a raft of macroeconomic problems.
The memorandum urged members of parliament to approve the finance plans and an order paper showed the plans were due to be discussed on Friday. One parliamentary source said the debate had been postponed.