April 30, 2018 / 6:08 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 2-IMF approves next disbursement under Ghana's aid deal

(Adds IMF statement)

ACCRA, April 30 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund’s board on Monday approved the next disbursement of about $191 million under Ghana’s aid program, while urging the West African country to take further steps to address its high debt.

The commodity exporter will begin a road show this week to market a $2.5 billion Eurobond issuance to restructure debt and support the government’s 2018 budget, a senior government official said.

Ghana is in its final year of the $918 million credit deal signed in April 2015 to fix its economy, dogged by high deficits, inflation and a distressing public debt.

“As the debt burden remains elevated, continued prudence in debt management is essential to reduce the risks associated with market-based borrowing,” Tao Zhang, deputy managing director of the IMF, said in a statement.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta told Reuters last week that the government was looking to issue the Eurobonds with a coupon in the 7 percent range, well below previous sales.

“The process for the issuance is ongoing and the road show is going to start this week,” a senior government official told Reuters on Monday.

The government appointed Standard Chartered Bank, JP Morgan, Bank of America and Citibank to advise on the bond sale, with Fidelity Bank and IC Securities participating as local partners. (Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by Aaron Ross and Peter Cooney)

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