Eurobond over-subscribed by US$1.2 billion

The Minister of Finance, Mr Seth Terkper (arrowed), with some members of the Eurobond Transaction Committee during the bidding. The Minister of Finance, Mr Seth Terkper (arrowed), with some members of the Eurobond Transaction Committee during the bidding. Ghana’s second bid to raise US$1 billion from the international capital market to finance key development projects has been over-subscribed by US$1.2 billion.

The first bond of US$750 million was raised in 2007 with a coupon rate of 8.5 per cent and a maturity period of 10 years.

This current bond of US$1 billion has a maturity period of 10 years, with a coupon rate of 7.875 per cent which will be paid semi-annually.

The bond will be listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) and the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE).

This will be the first listing of a sovereign bond on a local stock market in sub-Saharan Africa.

The over-subscription shows the level of confidence the international financial community has in the Ghanaian economy.

The economy, over the past year, has received positive ratings from international rating agencies. Moody Ratings rated Ghana B1; Standard and Poor’s B, while Fitch rated the economy B+.

The Minster of Finance, Mr Seth Terkper, who  led a team of experts for the road show, said he was satisfied with the results.

He said Ghana should now be accessing the international capital market to finance its long-term projects and said part of the fresh capital would be used to refinance the first bond which had a higher coupon rate of 8.5 per cent.

The foreign lead managers for the transaction were Barclays Bank and the Citi Bank Group, while SAS and EDC were the co-managers.

Parliament, on June 25, 2013, approved a request by the government to issue its second Eurobond to raise US$1 billion from the international capital market to finance development projects.

Proceeds from the bond are expected to be used to finance infrastructure projects and restructure maturing debts and interest payments.

They are also to be used as counterpart funding for capital projects such as the Atuabo Gas Processing project, as well as to finance capital expenditure approved in the 2013 budget, with priority given to self-financing projects such as ports and power projects.

The request was approved amidst serious debate from both sides of the House over the quantum of the amount, the timing of the issue, as well as the specific terms and conditions of the bond.

The Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Mr James Klutse Avedzi, who moved a motion for the adoption of the committee’s report on the bond, had said the purpose of the bond was to diversify the country’s sources of funding.

According to him, the bond was to provide counterpart funding for projects already approved amounting to US$103 million, as well as provide US$284 million to finance capital expenditure in the 2013 budget statement, with priority given to government financing projects.

Some MPs called on the government to present the specific terms of the bond to the House for its perusal.

They also criticised the government for not pursuing fiscal scrutiny, arguing that the timing for the request was not appropriate because the government was going to the market at a time when the country’s credit rating was low.

They said the country’s debt stock stood at more than GH¢30 billion and warned that borrowing from the capital market would increase the debt stock faster.

By Lloyd Evans/Daily Graphic/Ghana

Comments