Ghana’s total public debt balloons to GHC 286.9 bn

Ghana’s total public debt has ballooned to GHC 286.9 billion or US$50.2billion for the first eleven months of 2020 representing 74.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product, (GDP) from 214.6 billion which was 61.4 percent of GDP during the same period in 2019.

The external component of the public debt was US$24.4 billion or GHC139.6 billion representing 30.2 percent of GDP.

The domestic debt component of the total public debt was up from GHC102.9 billion to GHC147.3 billion representing 38.2 percent of GDP.

The government through the Bank of Ghana, (BoG) plans to raise GHC22.3 billion by issuing notes and bonds for the first quarter of 2021 from the money market.

Of this amount, GH¢19.7billion would be used to rollover maturities and the remaining GH¢2.6billion would be a fresh issuance to meet Government’s financing requirements.

This debt Calendar is part of Government’s effort to improve market transparency in the issuance of Government securities.

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The Calendar is developed based on the Net Domestic Financing provided in the 2021 Expenditure in Advance Appropriation and the domestic maturities. The Calendar shows the securities that are intended to be issued in respect of Government’s Public Sector Borrowing Requirements for the period January to March, 2021.

Government is expected to update the issuance Calendar on a monthly rolling basis, to reflect a full quarter financing programme.

In addition, the Calendar takes into consideration Government’s liability management programme, market developments (both domestic and international) and the Treasury & Debt Management objective of lengthening the maturity profile of the public debt.

Per this Calendar, the government aims to build benchmark bonds through the issuance of the following Instruments: the 91-day and 182-day Treasury Bills will be issued weekly; the 364-day Treasury Bill will be issued bi-weekly, and also through the primary auction with settlement being the transaction date plus one working day; Securities of 2-year up to 7-year will be issued through the book-building method; Issuance of the 20-year bond as a shelf offering will be re-opened based on investors request and on market conditions; and Consistent with the MTDS, we may announce tap-ins/reopening of other existing instruments depending on market conditions.

Ghana has been ranked as one of the countries on the African continent that is heavily indebted to Asian superpower, China.

China over the past few years has established itself as one of the world’s economic superpowers and as such the Asian country has become one of the biggest lenders to the world’s poorest continent, Africa.

By Elorm Desewu

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