BoG LIFTS BAN ON DOLLAR IMPORTS

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has lifted the ban on commercial banks importing dollars into the country directly, in a bid to prop up the falling cedi.

Currently, the cedi is the second worst performing currency in the world, behind the Ukrainian Hryvnia.

Dollar PixThe Central bank took the decision to reverse the ban last week and had since implemented the measure, Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah, Governor of the bank, said in Accra on Tuesday.

In 2012, the BoG banned direct cash imports as part of efforts to streamline the country’s foreign exchange system, and made the central bank the only source of dollars for local banks.

However, the BoG is optimistic the measure would help boost the liquidity of foreign exchange in the country.

Since January, the cedi has fallen more than 30 per cent against the dollar, despite the country being the world’s second largest producer of cocoa, and a major exporter of gold, oil and cocoa, among others.

In addition, Ghana is having a big challenge with closing a widening budget deficit, which is threatening the economic stability of the country.

Determined to explore options to boost Ghana’s sources of foreign exchange, the BoG confirmed planning to go ahead with a $1.5 billion Eurobond next month, if market conditions were favourable.

Dr. Wampah said expected inflows from the impending Eurobond would provide significant liquidity to the bank to use in support of the cedi.

Financial analysts forecast that the new bond when issued could attract between 23 per cent and 25 per cent.

It is recalled that a similar transaction held in May this year, attracted a yield of 24.44 per cent.

The government believes that the economy would improve at the end of this year on the back of foreign capital inflows.

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