Press zooms in on government’s decision to pay 5% coupon interest on bonds, others

The Graphic reports that the government has agreed to pay five per cent coupon (interest) on bonds for this year.It…

The Graphic reports that the government has agreed to pay five per cent coupon (interest) on bonds for this year.It will also pay a single coupon of nine per cent on the 12 new bonds it proposes to issue to domestic bondholders who tender their old bonds.

The government and the bankers also agreed on the removal or amendment of all clauses in the Exchange Memorandum that empowered the Republic to, at its sole discretion, vary the terms of the exchange.

The parties issued the statement after a crunch meeting on Monday (Jan 23, 2023) to negotiate new designs and concessions to make it easier for banks to participate in the voluntary DDEP.

The bankers association also asked the government to provide clarity on the operational framework and terms of access to the Ghana Financial Stability Fund (GFSF).

The fund is expected to help fund managers, banks, insurance companies and the likes with cash flow to meet their obligations as the fall due, in view of the cash flow challenges the debt exchange programme would bring upon the participating institutions.

The newspaper says that the Bank of Ghana has agreed with the Ghana Cocoa Board and commercial banks to use COCOBOD’s investments held at the various banks to pay its customers who may not agree with the decision to rollover the Cocoa bills.

The BoG, in a release, noted that while Cocoa bills, like the Bank of Ghana bills, were designed as instruments to be held just by financial institutions, unfortunately some financial institutions sold their instruments to their retail clients.

The move to allow the banks use COCOBOD’s investments with them to pay such clients is therefore, to help reduce the cash flow challenges on the retail holders.

The release, however, noted that the financial Institutions have agreed to roll over their cocoa bills investments after an attempt by the Bank of Ghana to reissue a new six-month Cocoa bill to raise fund to cover the maturing obligation failed.

On Thursday, January 19, a six-month Cocoa bill with face value of GH¢940.42 million matured and the central bank went through the usual process to reissue on behalf of COCOBOD, a new Cocoa bill to raise funds to pay the matured bills.

Unfortunately, this auction failed and was severely undersubscribed, resulting in a shortfall of GH¢ 855.42 million.

Last week, it was in the news that COCOBOD had failed to honour its Cocoa bills obligations and had rolled over the bills without even informing investors.

But after a meeting held on Friday, January 20 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.

“COCOBOD has assured us that the outlook for the 2023 crop season is good and Cocoa purchasing are ahead of last year.

“We therefore, expect that this short-term cash flow challenges facing COCOBOD will be resolved soon to enable it meet its obligations to investors,” the release noted.

The Ghanaian Times reports that the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) has approved a request by the Ghana Association of Banks on behalf of the listed Banks for the filing of 2022 audited Financial Statements to be extended by one month to April 30, 2023.

This will enable the eight banks work effectively with their external auditors to achieve the audit objectives.

The banks are Access Bank Ghana, ADB, CalBank, Ecobank Ghana, GCB Bank, Royal Bank Ghana, Standard Chartered Bank Ghana and Societe Generale.

The Ghana Association of Bankers has indicated that their discussions on the government of Ghana’s Debt Exchange programme currently ongoing has affected the finalisation of financial statements for the year ended, December 31, 2022, by external auditors of the Banks.

In particular, the deliberations have implications for the assessment of Expected Credit Losses and its impact on 2022 financial statements.

The GSE said it was against this background that the date for filing of 2022 audited financial statements was extended by one month to April 30, 2023. -myjoyonline

The newspaper says that the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA), through its Port and Infrastructure Committee (PIC), has engaged the Meridian Port Services Limited (MPS) on ways to improve shipping services at the MPS Terminal 3 of the Tema harbour.

This follows reports that shippers and transporters were breaching protocol by using rickety vehicles to pick containers, trucks after scanning, and delays in shipping line notification for export-tagged containers.

The shippers, on the other hand, had also complained about examination delays at the terminal and the absence of a weighing scale among others, with a request for specialised forklifts to enhance operations at the terminal.

In order to resolve these issues, the PIC, led by the Board Chair¬person of the GSA, Ms Stella Wilson, and the Commissioner of the Customs Division of the GRA, Alhaji Seidu Iddrisu Iddisah, visited the MPS last Wednesday.

Updating the media on the outcome of the meeting, Ms Wilson said the committee had fruitful discussions with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MPS, Mr Mohammed Samara, on the reports received on the state of services at the terminal.

She said the two organisations would explore other areas of collaboration to ensure effective resolution of the challenges and advance shipping in the country.

“Our aim is to have a better understanding of the technicalities involved in your operations to enable us to assist shippers with their complaints,” she said.

For his part, Mr Samara said that management was working to ensure that services of the MPS were mutually beneficial to all stakeholders.

To that end, he said the terminal has leveraged on advanced technologies such as the Truck Appointment System (TAS) to enhance operations at the Port.

He further said that the adaptation of the TAS had led to a reduction in the time required for the clearing of goods, putting Ghana on her way to becoming a hub for trade in West Africa.

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