Ghanaian press spotlights roll over of cocoa bills investments by banks, others

The Bank of Ghana's announcement that financial institutions in the country have agreed to roll over their cocoa bills investments…

The Bank of Ghana’s announcement that financial institutions in the country have agreed to roll over their cocoa bills investments following a meeting held with them, together with the Ghana Cocoa Board is one the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Monday.The Graphic reports that the Bank of Ghana has announced that financial institutions in the country have agreed to roll over their cocoa bills investments following a meeting held with them, together with the Ghana Cocoa Board.

The central bank noted that on Thursday, January 19, a six-month Cocoa bill with face value of GH¢940.42 million matured.

The BoG said it went through the usual processes to reissue on behalf of COCOBOD, a new six-month Cocoa bill to raise funds to cover the maturing obligation, but unfortunately, the auction failed and was severely undersubscribed resulting in a shortfall of GH¢ 855.42million.

“At a meeting held on Friday, 20th January 2023 among the banks, COCOBOD and

Bank of Ghana, it was agreed that all institutional investors will roll over their maturing cocoa bill for Tender 6155.

“Financial Institutions have agreed to roll over their cocoa bills investments,” it stated.

The newspaper says that the new President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Ghana (CIIG), Solomon Lartey has urged all players in the financial industry to unite in their fight against the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme.

Speaking at his investiture as the new president of the Institute of Ghana, Mr Lartey, who is the CEO of the Africa Sureties and Insurance Advisory Company) said the financial services industry including insurance, banks, securities and pensions companies must come together and speak with one voice to arrive at a suitable solution for the domestic debt exchange program (DDEP), adding that the financial services industry is one and extremely intertwined.

‘In fact, we are different sides of the same coin. Whatever affects one side, affects the other as well,” he stated.

He said insurance companies would not be able to meet obligations with total liabilities of over GH¢5.96 billion and more than 7.5 million insurance policies would be affected if they are not exempt from the exchange, adding that thousands of people could also lose their livelihoods.

“Insurance companies (life and non-life) pay over GH¢4.3million worth of claims to companies and individuals on daily basis. This also would be lost. Note that these figures do not include pensions, health and securities, the picture is much worse than it seems,” he pointed out.

The CIIG president said it would be sad to see all the gains made to increase insurance coverage to more than 40 per cent destroyed due to this debt exchange programme.

The Ghanaian Times reports that the African Development Bank says Ghana’s economy expanded by 3.6 per cent in 2022, from 5.4 per cent in 2021.

This is slightly lower than the 3.7 per cent forecast by the government and 3.8 per cent by the World Bank.

It is also 1.8 percentage points lower than the initial forecast of 5.4 per cent.

In its latest 2023 Macroeconomic Performance and Outlook Report, it said growth was weighed down by deep macroeconomic imbalances, higher inflation, depreciating local currency, and high public debt, estimated at 91 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.

The top growth performers in 2022 were Seychelles (8.3 per cent), Rwanda (6.9 per cent) and Kenya (5.5 per cent).

Growth in oil-exporting countries declined marginally.

It said average growth in oil-exporting countries declined marginally to an estimated 4.0 per cent in 2022, from 4.2 per cent in 2021, largely reflecting the sharp decline in Libya and weaker growth in Nigeria.

“Africa’s oil-exporting countries account for about 51 per cent of the continent’s GDP, so their growth has a significant influence on Africa’s average performance. Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and top oil producer, accounts for about 30 per cent of the output for this group of countries. But it has suffered from steady declines in oil production due to continuing underinvestment in infrastructure and rising incidences of theft and overall insecurity

The newspaper says that the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) will on January 25, 2023, host the First Annual Assembly of African Investment Promotion Agencies in Accra.

The maiden summit will focus on: “The Role of IPAs in Facilitating Intra African Trade”.

A statement issued in Accra by the Centre said together, the Heads and Representatives of the invited African Investment Promotion Agencies along with colleagues from the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA); economic and political leaders would explore the critical role Investment Promotion Agencies played in boosting intra-African trade.

There will be further discussions on the emerging opportunities AfCFTA continues to present and how various development actors can leverage them to facilitate trade on the continent and boost socio-economic development.

Key speakers at this year’s summit are: Mr Yofi Grant, CEO of the GIPC & Sub Sahara’s Director on the steering Commit¬tee of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies, and Mr Ismail Ersahin, Executive Director for WAIPA.

Mr Grant said, “By 2050, Africa will be a quarter of the global population and what if by 2050, Africa was also the recipient of a quarter of global FDI flows?”

He said as the continent looked inward on how it could promote intra-African trade through AfCFTA, Africa needed to redefine how it looked outward overstaying towards its investor partners.

He said the redefinition was best created when they sat around the table and discussed where they were and where they wanted to go.

“This is why we are convening the first of many Annual Assembly of African Investment Promo¬tion Agencies,” he said.

He said through that they hoped to deepen and continue engagement for the formation of an Association of African Investment Promotion Agencies.

He said the annual summit would set the tone for collective engagements on how development actors could target, channel, and leverage foreign investment for mutually beneficial outcomes.

He called for cooperation on increasing intra-African investment in Africa, which was relatively low compared to other regions of the world.

There are currently about 48 African Investment Promotion Agencies, and the Annual Assembly of Investment Promotion Agencies will serve as the official gathering for African IPAs to engage in discussions, exchanges, and knowledge sharing on policies, interventions, current trends in FDI, best practices on investment promotion, the AfCFTA, among other topics.