Two Credit Rating Agencies, Moody’s Investor Services (“Moody’s”) and Standard and Poor (“S & P”) have affirmed Ghana’s Credit Rating at B3and B- respectively.
The rating agencies also maintained Ghana’s outlook.
In making their decision, the credit rating agencies considered Ghana’s improving growth prospects, resilient external sector performance, and continued access to the capital markets as essential factors in maintaining the rating and the outlook.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Finance in Accra yesterday said, notably, the two rating agencies recognised the efforts of the government to “build back better” through the innovative Ghana CARES (Obaatanpa) Programme.
“Furthermore, both credit rating agencies (Moody’s and S & P) acknowledge that Ghana’s economy is recovering from the effects of the pandemic faster than its peers. Hence, we should focus more on growth and the implementation of the Ghana CARES Programme,” the statement said.
According to the statement, S & P, in particular, maintained Ghana’s rating on the back of the growing economic prospects and the relatively transparent and responsive political institutions.
The stable outlook balances risks from fiscal and external financing pressures against the country’s medium-term economic growth prospects.
Understandably, both credit rating agencies raised some concerns about Ghana’s debt affordability and levels.
“The government, however, is committed to debt sustainability and fiscal consolidation. As such, between 2019 and 2021, the government has undertaken various liability management measures to proactively reduce the external debt stock and the interest expense burden. As a result, the government bought back and retired over US$900m worth of Eurobonds which has reduced the external debt stock significantly,” the statement said.
On the domestic front, the statement said the government continues to conduct active liability management.
“This year alone, an amount of GH¢4.84 billion has been used for domestic liability management, which involves the buy-back of 3-yr and 5-yr bonds. This has reduced the refinancing and rollover risks and interest cost inherent in the public debt portfolio. Our strategy has also positively impacted the interest rates on the primary and secondary securities markets,” it said.
The statement said “The Ministry will like to assure the general public that government is doing its possible best to vaccinate the majority of adult Ghanaians in order to achieve herd immunity, a need that has become even more imperative with the seeming third wave upon us.”
To this end, it said, Ghana was in constant talks with the African Vaccination Acquisition Trust (AVAT) for the supply of 17 million Johnson and Johnson doses.
BY TIMES REPORTER