Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta has stated that the government did not flout any regulation in the issue of the 2.25 billion dollar bond.
According to him, the Finance Ministry could not have in anyway interfered to manipulate the issuance of the bond to favour one party as is being upheld by critics of the issue.
“The Ministry of Finance in the issue of the bond in question had no direct dealing with the investors. All prospective investors bid through the primary dealers who in turn submit the investors’ bids to the Central Securities Depository platform,” Mr. Ken Ofori Atta said on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday.
He added, “At no time in the bookbuilding process that Ministry of Finance directly negotiates with any investor in anyway. Let me assure you that it will indeed be quite difficult to manipulate the process when there are three financial institutions governed strictly by the Bank of Ghana’s rules and regulations.”
The Minority in Parliament has criticised the government for what it says is a potential conflict of interest in the issue of the 2.25 billion dollars domestic bond.
The Minority argued among other things that one of the directors of the entity [Franklin Templeton] that purchased majority of the bonds is a Chairman of the Enterprise Group which is owned by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta.
The issue prompted the House to invite Ken Ofori Atta to provide details of the bond, today.
In his address to the House, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta maintained that the concerns raised by the Minority do not hold.
Explaining the basis on which the whole process was conducted, the Finance Minister stressed that the critics have demonstrated a lack of understanding of the process.
“Respectively Mr. Speaker, the above shows that there were no breaches of integrity either on the government or on the joint bookrunners part.”
“It may be tempting to say that the apparent manufacture some form of integrity deficit in the process is genuinely borne out of the lack of understanding of the actual process,” he asserted.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana