Meeting the market access criterion of the Fund means that Ghana, as a sovereign country, “has the capacity to access international financial markets on a durable and substantial basis”.
It also means that Ghana can graduate from the IMF’s PRGT eligibility which allows countries to access to the Fund’s scarce concessional resources.
But the IMF, in a document titled “Eligibility to Use the Fund’s Facilities for Concessional Financing” and prepared by its Strategy, Policy, and Review, the Legal, and the Finance Departments said Ghana, for now, will not be proposed for graduation at this time given the serious short-term vulnerabilities, which are exacerbated by current elevated risks in the global economy.
“Staff proposes maintaining Ghana’s PRGT eligibility given the presence of serious short-term vulnerabilities, with the expectation that it will be reassessed at the time of the next PRGT-eligibility review,” the IMF document said.
Seven other countries – Armenia, Georgia, Dominica, Grenada, Maldives, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Vietnam all met the income or the market access criterion, according to the document but none was proposed by the IMF to graduate due to the vulnerabilities of their economies.
Under more favorable global economic conditions, the IMF said some of these countries including Ghana would likely not have faced such vulnerabilities and hence would have been proposed for graduation.
“Staff expects that at the time of the next review of PRGT eligibility in 2014, a number will most likely graduate (provided they have overcome by that time their serious short-term vulnerabilities),” it added.
Ghana’s market access, measured by public and publicly-guaranteed external bonds and commercial loans inflows, the IMF said amounted to 212% of quota cumulatively over 2005–2009, including the first issuance of a sovereign Eurobond of $750 million in 2007.
By Ekow Quandzie