Ghana cedi to end year at 3.9 to US dollar – economic analyst

CedisA Senior Economic Analyst at Databank, Mr Courage Kingsley Martey, has said the cedi is likely to end the year at GH¢3.9 to the dollar.

He said current economic conditions and the anticipated revenue from the sale of bonds on the international market would see the cedi stabilised against the dollar.

A statement issued by Mr Fidel Amoah, the Content Manager, Lamudi Ghana, said Mr Martey made reference to a databank research that had earlier in the year forecast the cedi to float between GH¢3.9 and GH¢ 4.3 to a dollar.

Mr Martey said: “The expectation was that the cedi would end the year between GHȼ 3.9 and GH¢4.3 maximum to the dollar.

“However, given the recent developments on the market and the expected inflows, for the second half of the year, we will lean towards the lower band of GH¢ 3.9 to a dollar by the end of the year”.

He said the Central Bank’s daily release of $20 million in June in effort to stabilise the cedi led to a sharp appreciation against the major foreign currencies.

However, in the past few weeks, the cedi had seen slower depreciation and more stability.

Mr Martey said he believed that the Central Bank’s intervention could be a leading factor and noted that expected inflows from the Eurobond sale and COCOBOD’s syndicated loan facility were two factors that would ensure the stability of the local currency.

“The cedi will see more stability in the second half of the year due to COCOBOD’s expected loan facility of $1.8 billion and the Government’s Eurobond sale expected to rake in $1.5 billion,” he stated.

“This increased inflow of dollars will support Ghana’s reserves position, allowing the Bank of Ghana to smoothen volatility on the foreign exchange market till at least the end of the year”.

Mr Martey said that although these interventions would stabilize the local currency in the short-term, more needed to be done to ensure long-term stability.

The economic analyst hinted that a repeat of the cedi’s depreciation could occur in the first half of 2016 due to inherent challenges.

The biggest challenge, he said, was the country’s balance of payment deficit and election uncertainty.

In the first quarter of this year, the country’s balance of payment deficit was $850 billion.

This, he said, led to a shortage of foreign currencies on the market, culminating in the sharp depreciation of the cedi in the first half of the year.

Mr Martey said there was the need to increase exports through economic diversification, while adding more value to the country’s products to ensure that external vulnerabilities were reduced.

He noted that the cedi’s appreciation against the dollar led to price reductions in fuel products but expressed doubts about any significant effect on demand in the short-term.

He said this was because mortgage lenders were unlikely to reduce prices, which could see them post losses instead of profits.

“In the short-term I don’t see any increase in the demand for real estate,” he said. “Any available mortgage right now will include a higher exchange rate so that pricing regime cannot be reduced within a space of three-week cedi appreciation.

“What they would want to do is to recover the cost they have incurred over the first six months of the year before looking at adjusting their prices again”.

The Managing Director of Lamudi Ghana, Ms Akua Nyame-Mensah said: “The cedi’s stabilisation is essential. Businesses have not been able to adequately plan all year and have been spending on unbudgeted expenses.

“As a result of a more stable currency, mortgages would become more accessible. This has a positive effect on the economy because developers and mortgage lenders are to meet their financial objectives while the housing deficit is reduced.”

Source: GNA

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