“Ghana Expresses Confidence in Bondholder Deal Amid IMF Programme Review Completion”

Date:

ACCRA, April 13 (Reuters) – Ghana’s finance minister voiced optimism on Saturday about reaching an agreement with international bondholders to restructure $13 billion of debt, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced the successful completion of a loan programme review.

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Amidst the West African country’s efforts to navigate its deepest economic crisis in a generation with the support of a $3 billion IMF programme, progress with bondholder negotiations remains crucial.

The new staff-level agreement on the second review of the IMF programme is expected to unlock a $360 million tranche once Ghana provides financing assurances linked to a previous deal to restructure $5.4 billion of loans with official creditors.

Stephane Roudet, the IMF’s mission chief for Ghana, emphasized the importance of continued progress in Accra’s talks with international bondholders.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Roudet, Finance Minister Mohammed Amin Adam conveyed optimism about the negotiations, though refraining from specifying a timeline.

“Negotiations are ongoing… We are very confident that if things go the way they are, we certainly will reach a deal at some point,” Adam stated, noting that a non-disclosure agreement linked to the talks would expire on Monday.

Ghana sought IMF assistance in 2022 amidst a financial crisis triggered by escalating debt costs and soaring inflation, resulting in default on a significant portion of its $30 billion external debt.

Roudet commended Ghana’s performance under the programme, highlighting the authorities’ efforts to restore macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability.

“In other words, the programme is working,” Roudet affirmed, noting a significant decrease in inflation from a peak of 54% in 2022 to 25.8% as of March.

Governor Ernest Addison of the central bank expressed confidence in further inflation reduction, projecting it to reach around 15% by the end of 2024. He anticipated IMF flexibility to accommodate changing dynamics in the Ghanaian economy, citing Ghana’s better-than-forecast inflation performance.

Upon disbursement of the latest tranche, the IMF will have provided approximately $1.56 billion under the programme since May 2023.


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