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Possible Samurai Bond Look Good – Ken Ofori-Atta

Ken Ofori-Atta, Ghana’s Finance Minister has observed that prospects for Ghana issuing a possible Samurai bond in the medium term looked good, judging from the interaction and reception accorded the delegation on the non-deal investor road show to Tokyo.

Speaking to selected international journalists in Tokyo at the end of the road show, he explained that this non-deal road show was not tied to the issuance of a Samurai bond immediately.

“What we sought to do was to build relationships and sensitize the market, as you know, portfolio and asset managers are conservative and may want to have all the necessary assurance in place before – and this takes time”.

Ghana’s Parliament in March approved for the government to issue its fifth Eurobond which issuance is planned for the second quarter of this year.

Ken Ofori-Atta said going forward, the government will work on sustaining and improving macroeconomic indicators to improve Ghana’s credit rating, which is rated by Fitch, Moodys, and Standard and Poors at B, B and B-.

Indications are that potential Yen issuers like Ghana should have at least a double B rating by the rating agencies before they can acquire a Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) guarantee, a pre-requirement for Samurai bonds.

He said it was important at this stage to sensitise the market about prospects in Ghana and look for partnership in the private sector as Ghana is determine to link any future Samurai bond proceeds to specific green projects in energy (solar) transport (Tema Metro rail) and other transformational projects in telecommunication, construction etc.

The delegation which is in Tokyo for a week’s visit met with several asset and portfolio managers, bankers and investors. They also met government officials to strengthen and chart a new course for bilateral economic and trade relations.

These included meetings with Taro Aso, Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Finance;  State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Masahisa Sato and Mr. Hiroshi Kato, Senior Vice President of JICA.

The weeklong visit ended with an Investment Seminar which attracted over 150 leading Japanese businesses from all over the country as well some companies from Ghana. The seminar was organised by Japan External Trade organisation (JETRO), the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, and the Ghana Embassy in Tokyo.

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