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Ghana’s Junk Status: Speed up IMF engagement – Financial Advisor tells Gov’t

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Ghana’s Junk Status: Speed up IMF engagement – Financial Advisor tells Gov’t

A Partner and Financial Advisory Leader at Deloitte Ghana, Yaw Appiah Lartey has advised the government to accelerate the negotiation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

His comment comes after Fitch Ratings downgraded Ghana’s Long-Term Local- and Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to ‘CC’, from ‘CCC’.

Fitch Ratings said Ghana’s high level of credit risk following the downgrade to CC reflects the increased likelihood that the country will pursue a debt restructuring as interest costs surge.

Speaking on Morning Starr with Francis Abban Monday, Mr. Lartey indicated that speeding up negotiations with the IMF amidst the worsening economic conditions can bring in some immediate funds to cushion the economy.

In the quest to restructure the country’s debts and rebuild an economy ravaged by mismanagement and COVID-19, Appiah Lartey said “the first thing that Ghana should do is to accelerate the engagement with IMF.”

Citing the Zambia example as it recently secured 1.3 billion dollars from the IMF before its restructuring program, the Financial Advisor noted “So if you have some form of backup or liquidity support from the World Bank or some form of guarantee from the IMF at the time when you start the restructuring, it will be a much easier process. But if you go in a state where you do not have much liquidity when you start negotiating with these credit holders it will be difficult.

He added: “We saw this coming and unfortunately for us the local market is not that vibrant and the idea of the government using loan syndication using the local market or local commercial banks. As we speak the local major banks in Ghana have been downgraded,” Mr. Appiah Lartey stated.

He continued: “What that means is that these banks do not have a lot of liquidity to lend to the government anymore. So our situation has been worse and our public debt is rising and yet the liquidity to service those debts is not there. When you are rated triple C you have some elements of speculation.”

He described the government’s debt status as a junk one that needs some immediate liquidity to save the situation in order to avoid longer debt payments.

“It doesn’t mean that the government will not be able to pay but it will be much more difficult to pay. What that means is that the government will have to restructure to ensure that debts for a shorter or medium period are negotiated for a longer period.”

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Global Citizen Festival raises $2.4 Billion to end extreme poverty

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Global Citizen Festival raises $2.4 Billion to end extreme poverty

Pledges totalling $2.4billion were announced as part of activities to mark the Global Citizen Festival in New York City and Accra on Saturday, September 24, 2022.

Key commitments were announced to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the festival’s impact and advocacy, through the hard work of many partner organizations.

A statement issued by Global Citizen said the 2022 Festival saw “more than US$800 million announced to end extreme poverty NOW and US$1.6 billion announced by the European Commission and Canada as part of the seventh replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria on Sept. 21, in addition to the announcement of five companies signing on to the UN-led Race to Zero initiative to reach net-zero emissions by 2050”.

 

Of this funding, more than US$440 million was earmarked exclusively to initiatives to end extreme poverty on the African continent, with the remainder intended to reach people around the world, including across Africa.
The Global Citizen Festival campaign announced commitments by world leaders and governments in support of ending poverty now, including Canada, Belgium, Denmark, the European Commission, Germany, Ghana, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, United Nations, and the United States.

From around the world, messages of support for Global Citizen’s End Extreme Poverty NOW campaign were received by President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, President of France Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez, COP27 Youth Envoy Dr. Omnia el Omrani, Taoiseach of Ireland Micheál Martin, Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros, COP26 President Alok Sharma, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, US Rep. Jamie Raskin, US Rep. Ann Wagner, and US Rep. John Curtis.

Financial and policy announcements were also made by many corporate, philanthropic, and NGO partners including Accenture, Cisco, Citi, Delta, the Dutch Postcode Lottery, Ford Foundation, Gavi and Girl Effect, the Global Menstrual Equity Hygiene Accelerator, Lego Foundation, Procter & Gamble, Rotary International, Verizon, WWT, YouTube and Google.org.
“Amidst all the doomsday messages we hear today, hope lies in the fact that millions of citizens are rising up to take action, more than any other point in history. 10 years ago, Global Citizen was just an idea – and 10 years from now we’ll see a generation of Global Citizens running for office, starting companies, and transforming communities,” said Hugh Evans, Co-Founder and CEO, Global Citizen.
In support of the Global Citizen campaign to defend the planet and take climate action NOW, five businesses officially signed on to the Race to Zero campaign to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 as a part of Global Citizen Festival, including American Eagle Outfitters, Betterfly, Harith General Partners, Juan Valdez Café, and WWT.
Global Citizens have taken more than 2 million actions with Global Citizen in 2022 to help achieve Global Citizen’s mission to End Extreme Poverty NOW, more than doubling the record previously set by the international advocacy organization.
“With 43 days to go to COP, we need countries to move from pledges to implementation — as youth we have a critical role to play in making sure our nations do not backtrack on their promises,” said Dr. Omnia el Omrani, COP27 youth envoy, in a video message to Global Citizens at Global Citizen Festival.
With stages in Accra and New York, the event captured the Global Citizen ethos, channelling an eclectic array of musical talent in support of our efforts to End Extreme Poverty NOW and build momentum ahead of the G20 summit and UN Climate Conference, COP27, both in November.

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BOST profit: State-owned enterprises can deliver value with right leadership – NAPO

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BOST profit: State-owned enterprises can deliver value with right leadership – NAPO

Minister of Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has commended the Bulk Oil Storage and Distribution Company Limited (BOST) for the turnaround in its operational and revenue fortunes.

This comes on the back of the state-owned firm, increasing its profits to GH¢161million in 2021 after it recorded a loss of GH¢291 million in 2020.

Speaking at the first Annual General Meeting of the company, Dr. Opoku Prempeh said the development demonstrates that state-owned enterprises can deliver value through the right leadership and management to boost national development.

“The transformation is indeed massive, as evidenced in improved operational efficiency. This is the path to go if we should attain the path of State-Owned Enterprises contributing to the fiscal policy of government for its national growth and development agenda. Imagine if 100 SOEs each made GH¢150million net income,” Dr. Opoku Prempeh said.

The Minister disclosed that the improvement in BOST’s revenue was due to a core business strategy and an increase in petrol and diesel sales revenue of about 83 percent.

He added that an amount of US$611 million paid from the US$624 million debt accumulated in 2017 was generated from BOST’s internally generated funds.

The sector minister also lauded the management of the state-owned firm for the effective utilisation of revenue generated from the nine pesewas BOST margin on petroleum products.

He explained that proceeds from the petroleum levy were used to undertake renovation and repair works on fuel depots, decommissioning of tanks, revamping four river barges for fuel transportation on the Volta Lake, and the upgrade of the Akosombo jetty.

“The rest are upgrade and replacement of loading arms, pumps and valves across all the depots at Buipe-Bolgatanga-Petroleum-Product-Pipeline; Tema-Akosombo-Petroleum Product-Pipeline; and Bolgatanga Petroleum Export Depot among others.”

He continued, “Comparing figures, I also saw BOST reducing its administrative expenses from as high as GH¢538 million in 2016 with a staff strength of 349 to GH¢212 million in the year 2021 with a staff strength of 487.

The energy minister also commended BOST for deploying cost-cutting measures in its operations.

“Genuine administrative costs grow upward and not downward due to factors like inflation among others but I would like to commend management for the prudence that resulted in these massive reductions in the cost of operations.

The company is spending less while achieving more for the government and people of Ghana; from the face of the record, this is an impressive performance that the company’s board and management need to be commended for,” the energy minister stated.

Dr. Opoku Prempeh in his concluding remarks reaffirmed BOST of government’s commitment to make the entity an effective and profitable one.

“I am aware of recent developments in the mass media on BOST, but I am also aware of the political economy around operations of the company. Government is also aware of the turf-war to get the company derailed, and we are not falling for those who seek to engage the reverse button,” he emphasised.

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Silver Star loses benz dealership deal in Ghana

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Silver Star loses benz dealership deal in Ghana

Silver Star Auto Limited, a popular automobile firm in Ghana has lost its deal as the authorized distributors of Mercedes benz in Ghana.

A Press Statement issued on Thursday, September 15, 2022 by the Company said Mercedes Benz Germany has decided to engage a new multinational dealer for the Ghanaian and West African market at large albeit leading the market share by far in Ghana for luxury vehicles.

“We have tried our level best to make a case with Mercedes-Benz in Germany without luck, all appeals failed to have produce any response from them leaving us no choice but to seek redress from the courts,” the company said in its statement.

Despite the separation, SSAL assured its customers that it will still remain an independent trusted partner for Mercedes-Benz advice, support, and aftersales service.

Below is the full statement

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