Ghana: Press focuses on raising of over $3bn Eurobond for Ghana by local firms, others

The commendation by Minister of Finance for the role played by five indigenous financial institutions in raising $3.025 billion in…

The commendation by Minister of Finance for the role played by five indigenous financial institutions in raising $3.025 billion in Eurobond for Ghana the country and the reason for diverting the Kumasi-bound flight from Accra to Côte d’Ivoire are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Tuesday.The Graphic reports that the Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, has lauded the role played by five indigenous financial institutions in raising $3.025 billion in Eurobond for the country.

The institutions which led in raising the bond last month are Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited, Cal Bank PLC, Databank Brokerage Limited, IC Securities (Ghana) Limited and Temple Investments Limited.

They acted as co-managers of the transaction, which turned out to be the country’s largest bond sale in history and featured a novel zero-coupon Eurobond, the first of its kind by an emerging market economy.

Mr Ofori-Atta told the Daily Graphic in Accra that he was delighted with the role of the indigenous firms in the issuance processes, saying their active involvement was a testament to the fact that the effort by the government to develop indigenous capacity in the banking and financial sectors was yielding the expected results.

Beyond helping investors domiciled in the country to access the international capital market, he said, the arrangement also ensured that almost 50 percent of the novel zero-coupon bond was taken up by resident investors, a development that was positive for the economy.

“For the first time in Africa, we have seen local managers drive significant local market participation in fund-raising in a global Eurobond. Close to 50 percent of the zero-coupon bond was taken up by the local market through the efforts of the local co-managers,” Mr Ofori-Atta added.

The newspaper says that the management of domestic airline PassionAir has explained that their Kumasi-bound flight from Accra had to be diverted to Côte d’Ivoire because of bad weather conditions in the Ashanti Regional capital.

PassionAir, in a press statement on the April 17 flight said a decision was made to proceed to the planned alternate airport in Abidjan after it was unable to land in Kumasi or return to Accra.

It explained that on April 17, 2021, PassionAir flight OP152 departed from Accra at 17:45 for Kumasi. Unfortunately, due to deteriorating weather conditions at the destination airport, the flight could not land.

Unable to land in Kumasi or return to Accra, a decision was made to proceed to the planned alternate airport, Félix Houphouët Boigny International Airport in Côte d’Ivoire (Abidjan) where the weather permitted a safe landing.

It added that passengers were provided with refreshments on the ground and the flight departed Abidjan at 11:20pm when the weather had improved en-route to Accra. Hotel arrangements were made for passengers, who required it, while others opted to spend the night in their own homes.

The Times reports that efforts to deepen internet penetration and bring broadband services to the doorstep of Ghanaians has received a boost with the signing of a partnership agreement between the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) and CSquared, Africa’s wholesale open-access broadband infrastructure provider.

Under the partnership, GRIDCo is leasing its excess fibre capacity to mobile network operators and Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Ghana.

GRIDCo’s operations involve the use of Optical Ground Wire System (OPGW), which serves to protect the nation’s transmission system against lightning strikes, and the OPGW could be utilised as fibre for communication purposes.

In view of this, in 2017, GRIDCo’s subsidiary company, GRIDTel, commenced operations with the sole aim of commercialising the excess fibre capacity available from the OPGW installations, by leasing it to telecommunication companies in Ghana.

Speaking at the programme, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GRIDCo, Jonathan Amoako-Baah said the partnership would help bring internet to the doorstep of Ghanaians.

“What is significant about this partnership is the benefit it will bring to the average Ghanaian in terms of internet broadband access and affordability.  Our efforts in this area ties in perfectly with the government’s digitisation agenda,” he said.

The newspaper says that the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, has called for improved partnership between Ghana and Swiss investors in developing Ghana’s pharmaceutical and machinery manufacturing industries.

“With the expertise of Switzerland in this sector, Ghana stands a chance to learn a lot from Switzerland and the manufacturing of industrial machinery and equipment will reinforce our capacity to pursue industrialisation,” he said.

He was speaking in Accra on Friday when the Switzerland Ambassador to Ghana, Philipp Stalder, paid him a courtesy call.

Additionally, Mr Kyerematen noted that Ghana was focused on developing its jewelry industry by adding value to its raw gold before export.

To this end, he urged Swiss investors to venture into business operations that would help Ghana add value to its gold and maximise gains from the sectors.

Ghana and Switzerland, he said, have for years, maintained cordial bilateral relations which had enabled the two countries to strengthen bilateral co-operation in the areas of trade, investment and development assistance.

He said Switzerland was one of the few countries that Ghana records a trade surplus.

Currently the primary goods such as gold, cocoa beans, cocoa paste and tropical fruits dominate Ghana’s exports to Switzerland, whilst imports from Switzerland to Ghana includes packaged medicaments, wheat, large construction vehicles, scented mixtures.

The total value of bilateral trade between the two countries between 2010 and 2019 is estimated at $26.5 billion, with Ghana recording trade surpluses in all the years with the highest trade surplus of $4.8 billion recorded in 2019.

On his part, Philipp Stalder said Switzerland was ready to support Ghana in its industrialisation drive.

In that regard, he said, Ghana and Switzerland have signed an agreement for putting up industrialised structures.