8 June 2017

Ghana: U.S. $ 2.25 Billion Bond Was Transparent Devoid of Infractions - Finance Minister

press release

The Minister for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has told Parliament that the recent 2.25 billion dollar bond issued by government was done through a competitive and transparent bidding devoid of infractions and improper procedure.

According to him, there were no breaches of integrity, either on government's part or on the part of Joint Book Runners (JBR), the primary dealers of bond.

The Minister said this in statement on Wednesday in response to a half-hour motion compelling him to provide full disclosure on the bond issuance.

He explained that the Ministry of Finance, during the issuance of the bond, had no direct dealings with investors, adding that the bidding process was managed by Barclays Bank, Stanbic Bank and Strategic African Securities (SAS).

"Mr. Speaker as I have already stated, Ministry of Finance dealt with only financial institutions licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission to deal with securities, and authorized by Bank of Ghana as primary dealers to act as our transaction advisors...The ministry had no direct dealings with investors. All prospective bidders bid through their primary dealers, who in turn submitted the investor's bids through the Central Securities Depository platform," he said.

"At no time during the book building process did the Ministry of Finance negotiate with any investor in any way, and it will indeed be quite difficult to manipulate the process when the three financial institutions are governed strictly by the Bank of Ghana's rules and regulations," Mr. Ofori-Atta added.

He told the House that the bonds issued were domestic Ghana Cedis bonds in the aggregate amount of GH¢ 9.7 billion and that they were no US Dollar-denominated bonds.

"The bond in question complied in every material detail to the tenets of the rules and regulations governing securities," he said, adding the April domestic bond was issued in cedis as directed by the law.

He also dispelled the notion that Franklin Templeton Investments is a human being.

"For the avoidance of doubt, Franklin Templeton is not a person but the entity which owns the Templeton Global Bond Fund. It is one of the world's largest asset management groups with over US $850 billion in asset under management on behalf of over 25 million private, professional and institutional investors as at September 30, 2014," he said.

He also explained that the 95% of the bonds bought by Franklin Templeton is not odd as claimed by the Minority.

Source: ISD (Gilbert Ankrah)

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