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COCOBOD signs usual ritual agreement for $1.5b loan to buy cocoa

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The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has signed an agreement for the usual ritual of borrowing $1.5 billion syndicated loan facility which it has been doing for nearly 30 years now, for the 2021/2022 cocoa crop season to be used to finance cocoa purchases and related operational activities in the crop season.

A total of 28 institutions, made up of local and international financial institutions, participated in this year’s syndication, including Standard Chartered, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

The latest loan facility, with an interest rate plus LIBOR of 1.1 per cent, is repayable in seven months, beginning from February through to August. The COCOBOD expects to use the funds to buy a projected 950,000 metric tonnes of cocoa from farmers.

The signing ceremony on Wednesday was attended in-person by some officials from COCOBOD, the government and representatives of the local financial institutions who participated in the year’s syndication.

Officials from the foreign banks, including the lead arrangers, attended the ceremony via video conferencing.

It is the second time the loan agreement was signed virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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