IMF loan approval expected in May – Ofori-Atta

The coupon payment is seen as a testament to the government's commitment to ensuring a stable and thriving financial market.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta

Ghana expects the International Monetary Fund’s board to approve a US$3billion loan in May, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said in a presentation last week Thursday.

The country secured a staff-level agreement with the IMF for the US$3 billion support package in December. But the fund requires bilateral lenders to provide assurances they will restructure Ghana’s debt as a condition of signing off on the loan.

Ofori-Atta said that official creditor financial assurances are expected by May and that the country’s domestic debt exchange programme would yield GH¢38billion of debt service savings in 2023.

He added that US$20billion of external debt was eligible for restructuring, 66 percent of the external debt stock. Of that, US$5.4billion in official creditor debt will be restructured.

A Memorandum of Understanding with official creditors and an agreement in principle on Eurobond restructuring are expected by July, with a 2030 Eurobond partially guaranteed by the World Bank included in the restructuring, the minister said.

He added that Ghana needs a US$1.5billion financial stability fund to ensure appropriate solvency and liquidity.

“The World Bank has fortunately agreed to support this fund with a quarter of a billion… and government, looking at the space we have, also committing about US$500million to that,” Ofori-Atta said at the virtual briefing.

Ghana’s net foreign exchange reserves fell sharply in 2022 and are currently US$2.6billion, central bank governor Ernest Addison said in the briefing.

The government also aims to bring rampant inflation down to 8 percent in the medium term and is targetting real GDP growth of 5 percent over the same period, a presentation accompanying the briefing said.

Ghana’s inflation reached a more than two-decade high of 54.1 percent in December, but has since slowed, falling to 45 percent year-on-year in March.


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