The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Joseph Boahen Aidoo has justified why they requested USD1.3billion syndicated loan.
Parliament approved US$ 1.3 billion loan facility from a consortium of banks and financial institutions to finance the purchase of cocoa for the 2020/21 crop season by the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod).
The loan is expected to be used to purchase an estimated 900,000 metric tonnes of cocoa beans from farmers through the Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) as well as finance other operations of the Board for the cocoa season.
Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo told journalists in Accra after the signing ceremony which took place on Tuesday, 29th September that the COCOBOD considered the crop outlook of the country to arrive at that amount.
“When you are going for syndication you don’t just go and take the money. You have to sit down and then look at your crop outlook to see if your crop outlook can meet the amount you are requesting,” he said.
“Let me take this opportunity to thank our reliable funding institutions for their continuous trust in the operations of Ghana’s cocoa industry which has culminated in their ever willingness to pull resources together for our annual syndications,” he said.
“We have also returned this trust by ensuring that we never defaulted in repaying the loans since the 1992/1993 crop season when the first one was signed. In fact, on several occasions, the loan was repaid ahead of schedule. The 2019/2020 syndicated loan, for instance, was repaid two months ahead of schedule,” he noted.
A total of 28 institutions, made up of 4 local and 24 international financial institutions participated in this year’s syndication. This was despite speculations and media reports in June that COCOBOD’s international financial partners were reluctant to raise the loan facility due to perceived risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aidoo responded to the speculations and said they were “simply not accurate”. COCOBOD was at the time, he said, negotiating the terms of the proposals with its financial partners and had projected that the terms will be finalised, and the deal signed in September.
The Initial mandated lead arrangers for the US$1.3 billion syndicated loan facility include ABN AMRO Bank NIV, Bank Of China Limited London Branch, Cooperative Rabobank UA and DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral-Zenossenscha FTS Bank, Frankfurt AM Main.
The others are Ghana International Bank PLC, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited – London Branch, MUFG Bank Limited, NATIXIS, Societe Generale and Standard Charted Bank.
The four local banks participating are Ecobank Ghana Limited, Societe General Ghana Limited, ABSA Ghana Limited and Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited.
Board Chair of the COCOBOD, Mr Hackman Owusu Agyemang said the capacity of local banks must be built to enable them play role in the syndication.
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana