Cocoa loan syndication oversubscribed to US$1.6 bln
Cocoa regulator Cocobod has received around US$1.6 billion worth of bids in an oversubscribed loan syndication aimed at financing purchases of the 2017/18 crop season, according to government and Cocobod sources told on Monday.
The world's second largest cocoa producer after Ivory Coast, uses loans from international banks every year for bean purchases. It had earlier said it aimed to raise US$1.3 billion in September to bring in a crop it estimated at around 850,000 tonnes.
Two sources familiar with this year's transaction told Reuters that more than 20 banks have signed up to the syndication since a London roadshow by Cocobod last month.
"It was a successful roadshow because not only was the target loan amount oversubscribed by at least $300 million, but there were indications of new banks signing up to the syndication for the first time," one industry source said.
The syndication is still open for lenders to join until September, another source said. It is unclear whether Cocobod would retain the extra bids or stick to its original $1.3 billion target.
The regulator received US$1.8 billion last year for the 2016/17 crop purchases but the loan ran out early and Cocobod's new management has said the money had been mismanaged.
Ghana's Cocobod raised US$200 million in a bond issued via the central bank to cover its operations for the rest of the cocoa season, the regulator's chief executive Joseph Aidoo said. Reuters