Ghana, IMF yet to decide on mode for energy bond

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Sources close to the matter tell Citi Business News that a final decision is likely to be made next week.

The government is currently on a road show in London ahead of the issue of the energy bond.

Proceeds from the energy bond are expected to be used to clear the 2.5 billion dollar energy sector debt.

An earlier statement on the bonds issue and copied to Citi Business News said the bond will be issued in tranches with the first expected to raise 6 billion cedis or about 1.3 billion dollars.

Even though a second road show is expected next week Monday [October 23rd] in Accra, Citi Business News is learning the response from investors have been very impressive.

Already, banks on whose books majority of the debts sit have bemoaned the delay in the issue of the bond.

They believe the eventual issue will help their rising non-performing loans.

The issue of deliberations on the mode to issue the bond first came up when the government delegation visited the IMF for the annual spring meetings.

The IMF is arguing that the bond be issued as a Sovereign one which will be deemed as an amount borrowed by the government and calculated as part of the country’s debt stock.

But the NPP administration is also planning to issue the bonds on the back of financial statements of the power companies.

Some Economists have cautioned against opting for a sovereign bond as the move will impact adversely on the economy.

For instance, Economist Dr. Ebo Turkson of the University of Ghana explains that issuing corporate bonds will enhance the competencies of such institutions.

“These institutions in the energy sector should be made viable to be able to go and borrow on their own of course they can get some government support for their borrowing so I am not in support for Sovereign bonds on behalf of institutions rather than have the institutions go and borrow themselves.”

“If the institutions do not devour and pay the money, then the government will have to pay which then it piles up on our debts … but if the institutions borrow based on their own balance sheet, it makes them more efficient and repay those debts,” he further asserted.

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