* Sale was largest single-day sovereign transaction in SSA
* Offshore buyers constitute more than 90 pct of accepted
* Sale should help central bank ease pressure on cedi
(Adds minister's comments, context)
By Kwasi Kpodo
ACCRA, April 3 Ghana has raised $2.2 billion
from a sale of long-dated domestic bonds on Friday, boosting its
central bank reserves by a third, the Finance Ministry said on
Offshore buyers constituted 90 percent of accepted bids,
according to Barclays Bank Ghana sources.
The sale represents the largest amount issued by a
sub-Saharan African country in a day, the ministry said in a
The cedi fell to a record low of 4.7420 to the dollar last
month but rallied to 4.2750 by noon (1200 GMT) on Monday, down
1.17 percent this year, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The transaction should boost the fiscal position of the
government of President Nana Akufo-Addo, who was sworn in on
Jan. 7, as it reviews a $918-million aid programme with the
International Monetary Fund.
"(It) is an indication of the strong appetite for Ghana
Bonds due to the markets renewed confidence in the long term
prospects of the Ghanaian economy," Finance Minister Ken
It is also a major vote of confidence in the new
government’s economic policies, fiscal measures and programmes
as outlined in the 2017 budget, he added.
The government aims to restore rapid growth in Ghana, a
country that had one of the hottest economies in Africa driven
by exports of gold, oil and cocoa. Growth slowed in 2014 due to
a fiscal crisis and a slump in global commodities prices.
Ghana sold 3.42 billion cedis ($790 million) of a 15-year
debt and a fresh 7-year paper worth 1.45 billion cedis ($335
million) at 19.75 percent yield each..
It also reopened existing 10-year and 5-year bonds of which
it sold more than $1 billion in a book-building transaction led
by Barclays Bank Ghana, the sources said.
"They successfully sold around $2.2 billion on a single day.
It shows there's investor goodwill and confidence in the
Ghanaian economy," a lead source said.
The government inherited undisclosed debt arrears of $1.6
billion and a 2016 budget deficit of 8.7 percent of gross
domestic product on cash basis.
In his first budget last month, Ofori-Atta announced plans
to restore the fiscal balance, create jobs and stimulate private
"People believe that they can do what they said they would
do," financial analyst Joseph Kumi told Reuters.
Settlement for the bonds is due on Monday and analysts say
the dollar transfers from offshore buyers should boost central
bank reserves, which stood at $6.45 billion at the end of
February, enough to cover imports for almost a third of a year.
(Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Alison Williams)