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Business News of Wednesday, 31 March 2021


RMB assists Ghana to issue US$3 billion Eurobond, inaugural zero-coupon tranche

Ghana's Finance Minister-designate, Ken Ofori-Atta Ghana's Finance Minister-designate, Ken Ofori-Atta

In Africa’s largest Eurobond issuance since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), the corporate and investment banking arm of FirstRand Bank Limited acted as Joint Lead Manager and Joint Bookrunner (JLM), alongside other transaction parties, in Ghana’s four-tranche Eurobond and also acted as Dealer Manager on the country’s Tender Offer on its 2023 maturity Eurobonds

Ken Ofori-Atta, Ghana’s Minister for Finance, who was sworn in on 30 March 2021, has in the past made a case for the creation of an “inclusive global forum to rebuild the international financial and economic architecture and a new ability to respond equitably and rapidly to such a catastrophe.”

RMB in a statement issued said it is proud to have assisted the country to issue a new money Zero Coupon Senior Unsecured Eurobond, the first of its kind by an Emerging Market (EM) sovereign.

“We are glad that the effective execution of the zero-coupon Eurobond tranche is another step towards achieving this vision and helps to create additional fiscal space to help Ghana Build Back Better post Covid-19 impact in the economy.

RMB is pleased to have been able to assist the Government to achieve its mission on this transaction. The issuance further demonstrates the RMB Debt Capital Markets Team’s expertise, innovation and ability to execute amidst volatile market backdrop,” the statement said.

The issuance enables the Ministry of Finance to raise funds to refinance more expensive shorter-dated debt with more affordable term debt. This transaction was preceded by a 3-day virtual deal roadshow, where Ghana presented its impressive credit story to global fixed income investors, whilst emphasising the government’s focus on fiscal consolidation, completion and continuity as the economy revitalises from the impact of the pandemic.

Commenting on the transaction, James Formby, Global CEO of RMB, says: “Ghana has always been a trailblazer as an issuer in the capital markets and was the first Sub Saharan African Sovereign to issue a 40-year Eurobond. RMB is delighted to have been appointed by Ghana to jointly lead the execution of this Eurobond, especially the novel Zero-Coupon tranche.

The appointment of RMB as Joint Lead Manager and the successful outcome of the transaction can be attributed to RMB’s commitment to Ghana through our on the ground presence, and the continuous investments we have made in our global credit distribution platforms.”

“Our agility in turning around the transaction within a short period enabled Ghana to navigate the choppy waters in the markets and achieve the government’s objectives in terms of their debt management strategy. The services of RMB’s leading Debt Capital Markets Team, based in London, a key financial hub, and remains available to African issuers to help them direct capital into the continent for investment, growth and development,” adds Dominic Adu, CEO of First National Bank Ghana.

Sharing their views on the deal, Eyitayo Netufo, Head of International Debt Capital Markets and Harris Hadjitheoris, Head of Bond Syndicate at RMB say “It was a pleasure working with the market astute Government of Ghana deal team as they expertly executed on the advice of the bookrunners on the transaction which enabled a very successful deal despite the volatile market backdrop.”

RMB and First National Bank, members of the FirstRand Group family, remain committed to Ghana and are proud to have been able to assist the Ministry of Finance with this transaction