Ghana's central bank announced its biggest ever interest rate hike on Monday as it seeks to slow rampant inflation that threatens to create a debt crisis in one of West Africa's largest economies, Reuters reported. The Bank of Ghana raised its main lending rate by 250 basis points to 17%, signaling an aggressive stance against the rocketing price of goods from flour to sugar to fuel, and against a depreciating local currency that has dented investor confidence.
Mexico sold its own ESG bond in early July linked to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, which include gender equality, zero hunger and clean water initiatives, Bloomberg reported. Slovenia, meantime, wowed investors in late June with a sustainability note for either green or social spending, which was more than 10 times oversubscribed. “Sovereigns are looking to undertake more social bonds in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Morgan Stanley strategists wrote last month.
Ghana will begin a roadshow next week to raise $5 billion from the international capital markets, as it seeks to close its 2021 budget financing gap, Bloomberg News reported. The nation wants to start marketing the debt to investors after Friday’s budget presentation, a Ministry of Finance official said by phone on Tuesday. The meetings would be held virtually due to coronavirus restrictions, said the official. This would be the first time Ghana will hold virtual meetings with investors prior to an international debt sale.
Ghana is setting a $2-billion estimate for the restructuring of contracts with independent power producers to reduce the country’s bill for excess capacity and to settle arrears, according to two people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News reported. While Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta already pledged to allocate $1 billion from February’s Eurobond sale, the country is also talking with multilateral lenders such as the World Bank to help raise a further $1 billion, said the people who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
Ghana is considering to buy out the debts of independent power producers as a step toward restructuring contracts and reducing its power bill, according to people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News reported. West Africa’s second-biggest economy currently pays as much as $500 million per year for power it doesn’t consume and is in talks to end the practice. Deals that obliged the government to pay for power regardless of whether or not the supplies were needed, have left the country with almost double the generation capacity it requires to meet peak demand of 2,700 megawatts.