The facility, which is the largest soft commodity deal in sub-Saharan Africa, will be used to finance cocoa purchases and related operational activities in the crop season.
The signing ceremony which took place on Tuesday, 29th September at the Marriot Hotel in Accra, was attended in-person by officials from COCOBOD, the government, and representatives of the local financial institutions who participated in this year’s syndication.
Officials from the foreign banks, including the lead arrangers, attended the ceremony via video conferencing.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo expressed his gratitude to the banks for their trust in Ghana’s cocoa industry for which reason they are willing to fund the operations of the industry.
“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.
He also said ‘Ayekoo’ to Ghanaian cocoa farmers who, he acknowledged as having worked tirelessly to maintain Ghana’s reputation as the leading producer of premium quality cocoa in the world and a reliable partner with which to do business.
Since the 1992/93 crop season, COCOBOD has consistently and successfully, through the pre-export syndicated finance facility, obtained a receivables-backed syndicated loan each year from the international money market to finance its cocoa purchases.
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The latest loan facility, which has an interest rate plus libor of 1.75%, is repayable in seven (7) calendar months and projected to help purchase about 900,000 metric tonnes of cocoa.