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Sep 18, 2015

Ghana Cocoa Board signs $1.8 billion loan for next season

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has signed a $1. 8 billion syndicated loan with international banks to finance purchases for the 2015/16 season.

The annual pre-export receivables backed trade finance facility was oversubscribed by 44 per cent to the tune of $2.6 billion.

The fully underwritten facility saw 22 banks participating.

“The over-subscription of the loan facility is a demonstration of the banks’ confidence in COCOBOD’s management and in Ghana’s economy,” Mr Noah Amenyah, the Public Affairs Manager of the board, said.

During the 2014/15 Cocoa season COCOBOD raised some $1.7 billion for the 2014/15 season.

Mr Amenyah said the 11-month trade finance facility would attract an interest of 1.19 per cent and would be used to purchase about 850, 000 tonnes of cocoa for the season.

He said the interest rate was the best looking at the current developments in the global financial markets, adding that the money is expected to hit the accounts in the first week of October to help prop up the Cedi

The COCOBOD has, since the 1992/3 cocoa season, raised funds from the international market for the purchase of cocoa beans from farmers through licensed buying companies.

The amount raised has risen from $140 million to a high of $2 billion as at the 2010/11 cocoa season.

Meanwhile, management of the board would allow the licensed buying companies to purchase the beans to the last day of September.

The new season (2015/2016) is expected to begin in the first week of October.

The money is expected to hit the Bank of Ghana account early next month after which it would be used to soar up national reserves while helping stabilise the cedi. – GNA