Accessibility links

Breaking News

Ghana IMF Rescue 'Likely': Citibank

FILE: A man holds a 50 cedis, the Ghana currency, note in Accra, Ghana, on December 1, 2022. The government on December 14, 2022 signed a $3 billion bailout deal with the International Monetary Fund in a bid to shore up its public finances

JOHANNESBURG - Ghana was likely to get an International Monetary Fund (IMF) board sign-off for a $3 billion rescue loan in the next few weeks, Citi's analysts said Friday in a note to clients.

"Our more positive view (on Ghana) is supported by a strong commitment by the IMF and Paris Club to achieve a quick breakthrough," the Citi note said.

It estimated that Ghana's international sovereign bonds would need an average coupon reduction of 30%-50% and five-year maturity extension, with no cut in the principal value, to cover the country's forecasted $4.5 billion financing gap in the next three years.

"Assuming a 12.5% exit yield... suggests an average price uptick of 10 cents" on bond prices, the note said.

Ghana defaulted on its external debts in December and has since sealed a domestic debt swap and requested a restructuring of its bilateral debts via the G20's Common Framework vehicle.

Meanwhile, Citi analysts were more downbeat regarding debt held by another African nation, Zambia.

Citibank said there was little upside to bond prices in Zambia now, even with a "conservative" estimate of a 25% principal haircut, 30% coupon cut, average maturity extension of six years and a three-year grace period.

"The Zambian restructuring will require high-level compromises at multilateral (IMF) and bilateral (China vs G7) level."