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Business News of Friday, 20 April 2018

Source: Starrfmonline.com

Ghana, Nigeria most attractive bond markets – Research

Ghana and Nigeria have been ranked as the most attractive Local and Euro Bond Markets on the continent, according to a new research carried out by South African-based Rand Merchant Bank.

The Research comes in the wake of the recent ranking of Ghana’s economy as the second fastest growing economy on the continent.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta last week revealed the prospect of issuing a Samurai Bond is bright after leading a high powered government delegation to a Non-Deal roadshow in Japan.

Senior Global Market Researcher at the Rand Merchant Bank Celeste Fauconnier believes Ghana must continue with its fiscal consolidation measures in order to sustain investor confidence.

“If they had a portfolio that says you must invest anywhere in the world, Africa would have felt the pinch,” she said, wondering why would one want to be in Africa which is more risky than going into the US and European bonds.

The US and European bond markets, she said have dedicated African Funds and Ghana and Nigeria are benefiting from it because “they are the most attractive local bond market and Eurobond markets in our portfolio of countries.”

Zambia, she said used to be the most attractive bond market for investors but “unfortunately Zambia is shooting itself in its foot because, it is signing an IMF agreement.”

“We have actually seen London investors moving their investments into bonds from Zambia into Ghana. So Ghana has been benefiting,” she stated.

She thus urged the government of Ghana to continue its fiscal consolidation policy, warning that “any fear will move investors in the local bond market here [Ghana] to the Nigerian bond market.”

Earlier this year, the World Bank said Ghana’s macroeconomic outlook was largely positive based on the 2017 performance, with GDP growth for 2017 estimated to have almost doubled from the 3.7 percent in 2016, and is expected to stay at that elevated level through 2018.

Also the external position, it said has improved as the trade balance has shifted to a surplus, but it needs to sustain the fiscal consolidation efforts.