Ghana Lists 10-Year Eurobond On Stock Exchange

Ghana's 10-year Eurobond was on Wednesday listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange to afford both local, foreign and prospective investors the opportunity to buy and trade on the secondary market. This is the very first time an African country is co- listing a Eurobond on the local exchange. The bond is already listed on the Irish Stock Exchange in Dublin. Ghanaian institutional investors and local investors hold 16.5 million dollars of the 2023 Eurobond. Finance Minister Seth Terkper said the recent bond issue offered local investors the opportunity for the purchase of the facility. Mr Terkper expressed the need for development of the bond market to bridge the prevailing long term financing gaps. "The wide infrastructural gap, which constraints our developments efforts as a country can only be closed when we tap into long-term financing options such as the capital markets, both domestic and foreign," the Minister said. He said as the country consolidates its middle income status it would be prudent to finance the capital component of the budget with long-term bonds. In Ghana the required infrastructural financing gap is about 1.2 billion dollars a year. A well- developed bond market, he said, would therefore be necessary for government to mobilise the funds to support capital expenditures. In this direction, Mr Terkper said government had taken substantial measures to deepen the development of the corporate bond market. The measures include the regular publication of an issuance calendar and extension of the yield curve. "We use this opportunity to encourage the private sector firms to follow the government's lead to diversify their sources of capital by tapping the local market," he said. Mr Kofi Yamoah, Managing Director Ghana Stock Exchange said the listing of the bond is landmark and expressed the hope that it would mark the beginning of deepening of the bond market. It should also open the opportunity for the issue of longer dated and low rate bond to serve as a benchmark for the market. Mr Michael Cobblah, Country Representative Ecobank Development Corporation, said the historic listing should open the avenue for the development and issue of corporate bonds on the market. He urged government to encourage municipal assemblies to issue bonds for development. Dr Sam Mensah, Chairman of the Ghana Stock Exchange Council, pointed to the remarkable performance of the bourse and called for public support to list more bonds on the market. Ghana had raised one billion dollars from the international capital markets. It attracted $750 million for cash with maturity period of 10 years with a coupon rate of 7.875 per cent, which would be paid semi-annually. Proceeds from the bond are to be used to finance counterpart funds for capital projects as well as to finance capital expenditures approved in the 2013 Budget. Priority would be given to self-financing projects such as the ports and power projects and the refinancing of public debt to reduce the cost of borrowing.