GHANA – The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), in collaboration with a consortium of international and local financiers, has inked an agreement for a US$1.3 billion syndicated loan facility for 2020/202 cocoa crop season.
The facility, the largest soft commodity deal in sub-Saharan Africa, will be used to finance cocoa purchases and related operational activities for the season.
The signing of the Pre-Export Trade Finance Facility for cocoa purchases for the 2020/2021 crop year took place at a virtual signing ceremony held on Tuesday, September 29th September 2020 in Accra, Ghana.
“Let me take this opportunity to thank our reliable funding institutions for their continuous trust in the operations of Ghana’s cocoa industry which has culminated in their ever willingness to pull resources together for our annual syndications.”Chief Executive of COCOBOD – Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo
According to COCOBOD, a total of 28 institutions, made up of 4 local and 24 international financial institutions have participated in this year’s syndication.
The local banks are Ecobank Ghana Limited, Societe Generale Ghana Limited, Absa Ghana Limited and Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited.
The Initial mandated lead arrangers for the facility include ABN AMRO Bank NIV, Bank Of China Limited London Branch, Cooperative Rabobank UA and DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral-Zenossenscha FTS Bank, Frankfurt AM Main.
The others are Ghana International Bank PLC, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited – London Branch, MUFG Bank Limited, NATIXIS, Societe Generale and Standard Charted Bank.
The Pre-Export Trade Finance Facility has been contracted at a competitive interest rate plus libor of 1.75%, repayable in seven (7) calendar months and projected to help purchase about 900,000 metric tonnes of cocoa.
Since the 1992/93 crop season, COCOBOD has consistently and successfully, through the pre-export Syndicated Finance Facility, obtained a receivables-backed syndicated loan each year from the international money market to finance its cocoa purchases.
Officials from the foreign banks, including the lead arrangers, attended the ceremony via video conferencing.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo said, “Let me take this opportunity to thank our reliable funding institutions for their continuous trust in the operations of Ghana’s cocoa industry which has culminated in their ever willingness to pull resources together for our annual syndications.”
He assured the financial institutions and all other stakeholders that “the loan will be used solely for the purpose for which it has been contracted.”
He further guaranteed that, as have been done over the years, the loan will be repaid on schedule.
Yoriko Noguchi, MUFG Bank Limited’s Director for Commodity and Structured Trade Finance, who spoke on behalf of the financial institutions who organised the loan facility congratulated COCOBOD for successfully raising the funds in spite of the substantial negative impact which the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the global economy.
“In spite of the challenges faced over the last six (6) months, COCOBOD has demonstrated true professionalism and pragmatism and this led to the success in raising the funds,” she asserted.
The signing of the agreement comes days after President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has announced that beginning October 1, 2020, a new cocoa producer price of GH¢10,560 (US$1,827) per metric ton, equivalent to GH¢660 (US$114) per bag will be paid for the coming 2020/21 crop year.
This represents a hike of more than 28% over the price obtained in the outgoing crop year of 2019/2020 and is in line with the international arrangement with Côte d’Ivoire and global stakeholders, of awarding the cocoa farmers the full US$400/MT Living Income Differential (LID).
Cocoa Processing Company opens depot at Kasoa
Meanwhile, the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) Limited, producers of GoldenTree Cocoa Chocolate and confectionery products, has opened a sales outlet at Kasoa to facilitate access to its products in the locality.
Nana Agyenim Boateng, the Managing Director of CPC, said the sales outlet would ensure that traders and consumers got their supplies easily without having to travel to Accra or Tema for the products.
The opening of the outlet coincided with the celebration of this year’s World Heart Day on the theme, “Use Heart to Beat Cardiovascular Diseases.”
The Managing Director said the products promoted health and well-being as they were produced from 100 percent premium Ghana Cocoa without any Cocoa butter substitutes.
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