*Offshore debt issuance slated for February: Finance Minister

*Share sale of mining royalty fund earmarked for January

Ghana wants to finalize its fundraising plans for 2020 as soon as possible so that the government can secure finance for flagship programs ahead of next year’s general elections.

The West African country wants to issue a Eurobond and conclude a $750 million share sale in a mining royalties fund by February, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said in an interview in the capital, Accra.

While the government hasn’t yet decided on the size of the Eurobond, the 2020 budget allows for fresh offshore debt of as much as $3 billion, said Ofori-Atta.

The initial public offering of the mineral royalties fund, which will be dual-listed, in London and on the Ghana Stock Exchange, was initially slated for as early as next month, but will likely proceed in January, he said.

“We have programs in the budget to implement and government flagship programs and initiatives which we will want to continue,” said Ofori-Atta.

The government of President Nana Akufo-Addo is under pressure to fulfill its election pledges of 2016 and still maintain financial discipline in a country that ended its 16th bailout program with the International Monetary Fund in April. With the next vote scheduled for December 2020, investors are looking out for signs of excessive spending, something that successive incumbents have regularly done in the past.

Ghana’s economy expanded by more than 6% annually since 2017 on the back of additional oil exports. The government will target growth of 6.8% next year and a budget deficit of 4.7% of gross domestic product, below the legislated ceiling of 5%

Credit: Bloomberg

(By Ekow Donkoh)