Cocobod Seals $1.3bn Loan Deal

Joseph Boahene Aidoo, CEO, COCOBOD

THE GHANA Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) on Friday signed a syndicated loan of US$1.3 billion for the 2019/2020 crop season.

This was after Parliament endorsed COCOBOD’s proposal to borrow up to US$1.5 billion to aid cocoa purchases for the 2019/2020 crop season.

COCOBOD has targeted to use the funds to finance the purchases of 950,000 tonnes of cocoa beans.

The first tranche of the funds is expected to drop in the Bank of Ghana’s accounts in the first week of October 2019.

Sources at COCOBOB have indicated that the board has already secured an extra US$200 million from some foreign banks.

The signing ceremony, which took place in Paris, France, was streamed live to journalists in Accra.

The loan arrangement involves 24 banks, five of whom would be leading the deal. These are ROBO-Bank, SG Bank, MUFG, NEBBANK and NET-IXIS.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Paris, Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, thanked the international banks for their continuous support towards the growth of the Ghana’s cocoa sector.

He said the confidence of the international banks in COCOBOD stemmed from the fact that it had the ability to repay its loans promptly. He also said the loan amount for the 2018 season was paid ahead of deadline.

According to the chief executive, the 2019/2020 facility was oversubscribed.

The loan will perk up Bank of Ghana’s reserves, offer investors and currency traders some guarantee, while also, monies paid to cocoa farmers and licensed buying companies would beef up liquidity in the banking system. This also means the local currency will enjoy some stability in the fourth quarter.

Accompanying the COCOBOD CEO to contract the syndicated loan were the Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation, Prof. Gyan Baffour and board chairman of COCOBOD, Hackman Owusu-Agyemang.

BY Melvin Tarlue

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