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UPDATE 1-Ghana sells 303 mln cedis of three-year bonds at 24.5 pct
May 26, 2016 / 6:26 PM / in 2 years

UPDATE 1-Ghana sells 303 mln cedis of three-year bonds at 24.5 pct

* Yield remains unchanged from similar transaction last month

* Bids tendered were less than targeted amount (Adds details, context)

ACCRA, May 26 (Reuters) - Ghana accepted 303 million cedis ($78.1 mln) worth of bids for a three-year domestic bond and will pay a fixed yield of 24.5 percent, central bank sources told Reuters on Thursday.

The bond, which was open to offshore investors, was undersubscribed, with total bids tendered of 341 million cedis, less than the 500 million cedis targeted, the sources said.

Yields ranged between 23.7 percent and 24.95 percent and settlement is fixed for May 30.

Proceeds from Thursday’s sale will be used to roll over maturing bonds as the government makes renewed efforts to tackle its growing debt burden and at the same time provide resources for Ghana’s huge infrastructure requirements.

The major commodities exporter is implementing a three-year aid programme with the International Monetary Fund to fix an economy dogged by budget deficits and inflation.

Ghana’s total public debt is around 70 percent of GDP, while consumer inflation stood at 18.7 percent in April. That has raised concerns among investors and donors, including the IMF.

Elections in November will see President John Mahama try to win another term against opposition leader Nana Akufo Addo and return a new parliament.

Overall, the government plans to raise 5.5 billion cedis by selling short- and medium-term domestic securities this month, of which 5.23 million cedis will be used to refinance maturing debt, the central bank has said.

Ghana paid a yield of 24.5 percent on a three-year bond sold last month through a syndicate of banks, with offshore buyers taking up 71 percent of allotted bids.

Ghana’s interest rates are among the highest in the region, reflecting the fiscal challenges facing the economy. The yield on the benchmark 91-day treasury bill, which is sold on Fridays, was 22.8071 at the last sale on May 20.

$1= 3.8780 cedis Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by Catherine Evans

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