Eurobond, COCOBOD loan to strengthen Ghana cedi – Dr Wampah

cediDr Henry Kofi Wampah, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, on Thursday said he expects the cedi to be broadly stable in the second half of the year on foreign inflows.

His expectation is based on a Eurobond and cocoa syndicated loan.

The cedi has fallen more than five per cent this year due to high demand for dollars to pay for imports.

Dr Wampah, who was speaking at the launch of the Ghana Banking Survey 2013 Report, attributed the challenges facing the dollar to increase repatriation by multinationals to meet dividend payments and the surge in imports.

Ghana plans to issue a Eurobond of up to $1 billion in July while the Cocobod is also in the market to raise $1.2 billion to fund cocoa purchases.

Dr Wampah said the expected inflows would help strengthen the cedi.

PricewaterhouseCoopers publishes the Ghana Banking Survey report every year to provide a detailed analysis of the performance of the banking sector.

The 2013 report is on the theme: “Harnessing the SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) potential.”

Dr Wampah said the report’s findings with respect to poor risk management and weak governance structures are also relevant to the sector.

He said the survey results showed that many more banks are focusing on the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector, although challenges with respect to unstructured governance and management, high default rates and financial opacity continue to hinder their acceptability as bankable propositions.

Dr Wampah said the Bank of Ghana has always encouraged banks and other financial intermediaries to lend to the SME sector.

“Apart from direct intervention through on-lending schemes through banks in the past, the Bank has encouraged access to credit for MSME, especially those in the export trade through reduced risk weighting of credit for the export sector in the capital adequacy computation of banks,” he said.

Furthermore, rural banks and non-bank financial institutions were borne out of the need to provide intermediaries that focus on meeting the credit and banking needs of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises, including those in rural communities and deprived urban centres.

Dr Wampah said the survey results have re-echoed some of the problems of MSMEs, which hinder their access to credit.

These include poor governance practices, lack of risk management practices, poor record keeping, fusion of business with personal ownership, among others.

“We share the view that these challenges need to be overcome. To do so, however, require that banks have a change of attitude,” he said.

Dr Wampah encouraged the Banks to consider MSMEs as partners in development and add innovations such as training and education of SME actors to the typical financing package.

MSME operators also need to reform their mode of operations by bringing formality into their operations through addressing governance weaknesses, improving record keeping and honouring obligations promptly, he said.

Source: GNA

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