Ghana shelves plans for bridge financing

Seth Terkper - Finance Minister
Seth Terkper – Finance Minister

Ghana has shelved plans for bridge financing to redeem maturing domestic debt, Finance Minister, Seth Terkper has said.

Speaking to in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the 2015 Conference of Ministers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he said Ghana has suspended that prospect and would rather concentrate on issuing bonds.

The Reuters news service reported last week, citing a memo that the Finance Minister had submitted to Parliament indicating that Ghana will seek bridge finance of between $300 million and $1 billion in the first half of this year to redeem maturing domestic debt.

The memo said the government would also issue a Eurobond of up to $1.5 billion in the second half of the year to retire the bridge finance, refinance domestic and external debt and fund 2015 capital expenditure, according to Reuters.

“In view of the need to reduce debt service costs as part of fiscal consolidation and to manage maturities of debt obligations and bullet points, I … urge Members of Parliament to consider and approve the financing plan,” the memo said.

“We have gone to Parliament to take away the bridge element, what Parliament approved is just for the bond” he said.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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