Ghana seeks bridge financing of up to $1 bln

Ghana seeks bridge financing of up to $1 blnACCRA, March 20 – Ghana will seek bridge finance of between $300 million and $1 billion in the first half of this year to redeem maturing domestic debt, according to a memo to parliament signed by Finance Minister Seth Terkper.

The debt finance plan emerged as Moody’s downgraded Ghana’s sovereign rating and put the West African country on a negative outlook to reflect its increasing debt burden, large fiscal imbalances and a sharp weakening of the cedi currency.

The memo said the government would also issue a Eurobond of up to $1.5 billion in the second half of the year to retire the bridge finance, refinance domestic and external debt and fund 2015 capital expenditure.

“In view of the need to reduce debt service costs as part of fiscal consolidation and to manage maturities of debt obligations and bullet points, I … urge Members of Parliament to consider and approve the financing plan,” the memo said.

The Moody’s downgrade of one notch to B3 from B2 marks the latest economic reverse for Ghana, which for years saw some of the strongest growth rates on the continent due to exports of gold, cocoa and oil.

Ghana struck a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in February for a three-year $940 million assistance programme.

The deal should relieve fiscal pressure but there are concerns about the government’s ability to meet the IMF’s targets ahead of elections in 2016, said Fitch on Friday as it affirmed Ghana’s rating at ‘B’ with a negative outlook.

Terkper told reporters that Ghana’s medium-term prospects are good and the government has taken the needed steps to achieve fiscal consolidation. Read More…

Ghana: Mobile subscriptions rise above 30 Million

Ghana: Mobile subscriptions rise above 30 MillionAccording to latest statistics from Ghana’s regulator the National Communications Authority (NCA), Ghana’s mobile phone subscriptions grew by 0.47 percent in December 2014 to 30.6 million from 30.22 million in November.

According to the report, MTN’s subscriber base increased marginally from 13,666,766 during the previous month to 13,852,398 during the period under review representing a 1.35% increase. Their market share also increased to 45.63% from 45.23% in November.

Similarly, Tigo’s subscriber base increased to 4,133,760 from 4,100,172 representing an increase of 0.81%. For the same period, Tigo’s market share increased likewise from 13.57% in November to 13.62%. With their market share increasing from 4.76% in November to 4.78%, Glo’s subscriber base also recorded a figure of 1,450,382 from 1,437,400, a decrease of 0.9%.  Read More…

Vodafone Is the Most Valuable Telecoms Brand in Ghana

Vodafone Ghana has been adjudged the Most Valuable Telecoms Brand in Ghana in the Fourth edition of the Brand Excellence Awards report put together by Premier Brands Ghana.

The Awards seek to project the most consistently excelling and relevant brands in Ghana and also put them on the global branding map.

In the report published a few weeks ago, Vodafone was the only telecommunications brand that made the top 6 together with the Daily Graphic, Toyota Ghana, Melcom and Total Petroleum Ghana.

This recognition follows a consistent performance in the National Communications Authority’s (NCA) monthly telecoms report which recognises Vodafone as having made the most inroads in increasing subscriber base with a current base of more than 7million subscribers.

Commenting on this, Agnes Emefa-Essah, Marketing Director at Vodafone Ghana said:
“Our brand is one of our most valuable assets as a company. It is what mobilises customers to benefit from the unmatched experience we provide. This recognition goes to show the hard work we always put in to ensure we are consistent with what we provide to the customer – the most important beneficiary of our service. We will continue to be committed to excellence, leadership, customer satisfaction and be a model for others in the sector”. Read More..

Minister Lauds Adidas

Deputy Minister of Youth & Sports, Hon. Vincent Oppong-Asamoah has praised global sports kit maker, adidas, for supporting Ghana’s sports development over the years.

He revealed that some of Ghana’s greatest accomplishments in football and other sporting disciplines on the world stage were achieved with the players wearing adidas jerseys.

The deputy minister made these remarks at the launch in Accra of adidas, the leading global sports retailer.

In attendance were former Black Stars skipper Rev. Osei Kofi, Coach Ibrahim Sunday and someGhanaian celebrities.

Hon. Vincent Oppong- Asamoah, who was the guest of honour, said: ‘In the 1990s especially, the Black Stars were kitted by adidas and when Ghana made exploits on the world stage, when Samuel Osei Kuffour and his Black Starlets teammates won the FIFA Under-17 Championship in Italy 23 years ago, they did so wearing adidas’.

He recounted how Ghana became the first African country to win an Olympic medal, after the Black Meteors won bronze at the Barcelona Olympics. Read More……

Nigeria promises reliable and increase gas supply to Ghana

Nigeria has promised to increase the volume of gas supplied to Ghana under the West African Gas Pipeline project.

This was confirmed during a West African Energy Ministers meeting in Accra to discuss issues pertaining to the West African Gas Pipeline project.

Ministers from Nigeria, Ghana, and Benin also discussed how to make gas for the pipeline reliable for beneficiary countries.

They are also discussing a possible review of tariffs charged to consumers who benefit from the gas.

Addressing the team of ministers, Group Executive Director in charge of gas and power at the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission, Dr David Ige said within the next few weeks there will be an increase in the supply of gas to Ghana to about 90 million cubic feet.

Ghana has in recent times complained about the failure of their Nigerian partners to meet the earlier 60million cubic feet of gas agreed under the West African gas pipeline project but Dr Ige is convinced they will be able to meet the new demands.

He explained the populous West African country will increase to 200million cubic feet, the amount of gas to its national grid and that will help in the supply to neighboring countries. Read More…