…As Ken Ofori-Atta’s $2.25bn dirty sale to FT starts to bite home
Apparently, the scandalous weight of the smelly sale of $2.25billion bond to Franklin Templeton by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has bitten viciously into the credibility of government.
An attempt to raise GHc800 million from a second bond failed to raise the full amount, in spite of proper incentives.
The second bond, which had been similarly published in the same second quarter issuance calendar that saw the government raise the $2.25billion in just four days in April, failed to attract investors to sweep up the GHc800million, only managing to raise GHc705m.
The magnitude of the indictment is heightened by the fact that the book building process had given over two months’ notice to the financial market about the government’s issuance.
It had also given bidders two whole days’ space to bid, unlike the Franklin Templeton bond, which had been wrapped up within.
These are also in spite of the fact that government had delayed the issuance, with a scheduled issue in May pushed forward to June.
Yet investors indicated their lack of confidence in the government, whose issue of a 7 year and 15 year bonds in March, is seen to have been done in secret to favor a company in which the Finance Minister’s business partner is a director.
How a government which raised GHc1billion and a further US$2.25 billion in less than two days is now failing to raise $170million, even after two days of bidding and two months of notice, has dangled huge question marks in the air.
The latest bond issuance had a coupon rate of 18.75% one percentage point lower than the 19.75% that the same Ken Ofori-Atta had sold the bond to Templeton, his business partner’s company.
This has left the Templeton bond scandal even murkier with questions.
Meanwhile, the issuance of this second bond has left the Akufo-Addo government looking more fraudulent in regards of its campaign promise to properly manage the public purse.
The same Akufo-Addo government, which had lambasted the erstwhile Mahama regime for what it said was incessant borrowing that was over burdening the public purse, is borrowing like nobody’s business.
In less than six months in office, the government is said to have added over GHc13billion to the debt stock
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com / Fiifi Samuels