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Energy bond unsuccessful after two tries

Ken Ofori-Atta - Finance Minister
Ken Ofori-Atta - Finance Minister

ESLA Plc failed to meet the target for the first tranche of the bond after a second attempt.

The managers of the bond  were seeking to raise 6 billion cedis under two separate bonds.

But accrued a total of 4.69 billion cedis after it closed the auction last Friday.

The 7-year bond received the targeted 2.4 billion cedis while the 10-year bond accrued about 2.29 billion cedis, below the target of 3.6 billion cedis.

For the 10-year bond, ESLA Plc realised a book size of over 2.79 billion cedis.

The coupon rate were between 19 and 20 percent out of which 2.29 billion cedis was accepted at a final yield of 19.5%.

ESLA which has been given the mandate by Government to issue the energy bond a week earlier auctioned the bond but received low proceeds forcing it to extend the auction by another week.

Proceeds of the bond are to be used to clear the debt in the energy sector which as at December 2016 was 2.5 billion dollars.

Lead managers of the bond have however told Citi Business News the process is an ongoing one and that they will go back unto the market and if the market conditions are right, they will issue it.

Meanwhile Citi Business News has learnt there will be a revaluation of the whole process together with an assessment of its performance on the stock market which will determine the timing to go back unto the market to raise the additional money.

Government in June this year announced Fidelity Bank and Standard Chartered Bank as lead managers of the bond.

In October, two road shows were conducted both locally and internationally which managers described as plausible.

Initially, the two bonds were extended for a day.

At the time, the managers attributed the decision to requests by some large investors.

But the decision to extend the 10 year bond for a week was not known.

Economist, Dr. Lord Mensah had predicted that government will not be paying an interest rate of less than 20 percent.

He argued that this is evident from rates paid on previous sovereign bonds issued by the government.

Reacting to possible reasons for the under subscription, Investment Banker, Mahama Iddrisu blamed the development on the political composition of the board, as well as the impact of low liquidity due to the operation of a Treasury Single Account (TSA).

By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

Ghana Business News