Govt Bond $ 2.25billion bond is not fraudulent - BoG

The Bank of Ghana has cleared controversies surrounding the recently issued bond by government

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The Central Bank of Ghana has cleared the air on the controversial $2.25billion bond it issued last week saying it was done in a rather transparent manner, contrary to accusations from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that it was done in secrecy.

This comes at a time the NDC insists the issuance was done in secrecy and skewed to favour a business partner of Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta, Trevor G. Trefgarne of Franklin Templeton. However, government maintains due process was followed religiously in the issuance.

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Speaking at the Public Accounts Committee’s first public hearings for 2017, the Second Deputy Governor of the central bank, Dr Johnson Asiamah, said a level playing field was adopted before the bond was issued.

Asked by Effutu MP Alex Afenyo-Markin if every potential investor, no matter where they are in the world, had equal opportunity to purchase the bond, Mr Asiamah explained: “The way it works in practice is that there is something we call an auction calendar. At the beginning of every year, government comes out with its borrowing plans and when you look within, you will see all the auctions that are planned ahead. So if you are located in another part of the world, you would have already seen what is about to come. Now, when they auction the particular one you are interested in when the time is due, they deal with their bankers in Ghana for settlement and that’s it. And I believe that before these auctions are done there is some advert the ministry churns out and so it’s transparent.”

READ ALSO: $2.25bn bond didn’t need AG’s advice - NPP

Speaking to Class News on this latest twist to the raging debate, Mr Markin, who is also a member of the committee, said government had been exonerated by the comments of the central bank which is made up of professionals, rather than politicians.

“From what the governor just said, it is very obvious that nobody was denied the opportunity to participate in the recent bonds that were issued by government based on jurisdiction. In other words, whether you were in Australia at the time or New Zealand or Canada or Dubai, you had equal opportunity. The Deputy Governor of the central bank…has also explained that the whole process was transparent, the whole process was done in a manner that anybody who knew about Ghana’s bond issue could participate. There was also no way, according to the Bank of Ghana, that the Finance Minister or any official of government could have connived with any potential investor to be given the sole opportunity…”

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