June 14, 2024

 

Ghana’s currency, the cedi, has emerged as the top-performing currency against the US dollar in the past six months, bolstered by investor optimism that the country is on the verge of obtaining approval from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $3 billion bailout.

Since November, the cedi has gained an impressive 33%, outpacing around 150 global currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

Ghana’s dollar securities have likewise shown areas of strength for a, creating an arrival of almost 12%, outperforming the 3.6% normal for arising and wilderness market peers in a Bloomberg file.

Ghana is expecting the quick dispensing of the primary tranche, adding up to $600 million, upon the IMF executive’s meeting on Wednesday, as expressed by Mohammed Amin Adam, the Pastor of State for Money.

The subsequent $600 million is expected in November, with the remainder disbursed in equal portions of $350 million every six months, contingent upon IMF reviews. This positive development has contributed to the cedi’s fourth consecutive day of strengthening, reaching 10.95 per dollar as of 9:57 a.m. in Accra.

Daniel Kavishe, an Africa economist at Rand Merchant Bank, suggests that if the authorities receive the initial funding tranche and market sentiment remains positive, the cedi is likely to continue appreciating in the coming days, potentially trading below 10 against the dollar. Kavishe points to similar reactions witnessed in other markets that received an IMF program accompanied by an immediate disbursement of funds.

While an IMF spokesperson confirmed the Wednesday board meeting, they refrained from commenting on the exact amounts to be received until the meeting takes place.

The IMF funds will play a crucial role in replenishing Ghana’s foreign exchange reserves, which have declined by nearly 50% since their peak in August 2021. These reserves were utilized by the central bank to alleviate pressure on the cedi after the country experienced a debt default, as explained by Kavishe.

Ghana is utilizing the Group of 20’s Common Framework to restructure its debt as part of its efforts to secure the IMF program. This mechanism aims to enhance coordination between traditional sovereign creditors such as the Paris Club and newer lenders like China, which has emerged as a significant financier for emerging economies. Zambia and Ethiopia are also employing the framework in their efforts to restructure their debt obligations.

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