Ghana will not default in Eurobond repayment – Report

Ghana will not default on its pending maturing Eurobonds, investment bank, IC Securities has predicted in its country brief on Ghana.

According to one of the leading investment firms in the country, a $750.0 million loan from the African Export-Import Bank, the $1.3 billion cocoa syndicated loan and the windfall from petroleum revenue will help shore up the country’s reserves, and prevent any default.

The country has a $16 million of the $1billion Eurobond issued on August 7, 2012 to mature. This was after it was initially issued with a principal amount to $750 million, due to reprofiling of some of the country’s debt.

IC Securities said “converse to its local counterparts, we do not believe a default on Ghana Eurobonds is imminent as the country will have the $750 million loan (hopefully) from the African Export-Import Bank, $1.3bn cocoa syndicated loan, and the windfall from its petroleum revenue. These inflows should shore up Ghana’s foreign exchange reserves before an International Monetary Fund [IMF] bailout within the next 6-8 month”.

“We do not believe a Eurobond default is imminent. Especially because debt service cost on Eurobonds are currently low—at 12.2 per cent of total revenue and grants. This drastically reduces the possibility of a default on Eurobonds within the next six months, ceteris paribus”, it added.

Furthermore, it said “even when we take Ghana’s Balance of Payment pressures into account, the Eurobond risk profile changes slightly—but not by much. And in the worst case—if Ghana were to default on its Eurobonds, the following scenario would play out. At the current price of 47.0 cents to the US dollar, investors could find themselves firmly in the money even with a hefty haircut of 40.0 per cent.”

IC Securities said the IMF bailout provides policy direction, but will not avert an imminent debt restructuring.

Again, it said if a bailout is smoothly secured within the next eight months, it should provide some level of policy certainty and direction.

“Investors might also have the opportunity to fairly re-price Ghana’s assets. This should help revive consumer and business confidence levels—which are both at devastating lows,” it pointed out.

“And though we do not expect the bailout to avert a debt restructuring, we do believe it will embolden policy makers to take interim measures that can relieve the fiscal burden,” it added. – Myjoyonline.com

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