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Economy to expand 6.2% in 2022; Eurobond market access diminishes – Standard Bank

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Despite the challenges, Ghana’s economy is expected to expand by 6.2% in 2022 and subsequently grow by 6.8% in 2023, Standard Bank, the parent company of Stanbic Bank has revealed.

This is in consistent with the forecast by International Monetary Fund which also pegs the growth rate of the country at 6.2% in 2022.

It said the government has made significant progress in vaccinations and the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions will stimulate demand and supply within the economy.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the mining and quarrying sub-sector grew by 16.9% in 2021, from an average contraction of 10.7% in the 6 months to June 2021, implying that growth momentum may be recovering.

“On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the mining and quarrying sub-sector grew by 16.9%, from an average contraction of 10.7% in the 6-m to Jun 21, implying that growth momentum may be recovering. Gold production from underground ore sources should commence from January 22, 2022 at the Obuasi mine. New contracts to conduct mining activities at the Bibiani mine have already been awarded, which should boost investment in the sector over the next few years.”

“However, ongoing global supply chain challenges could restrain growth in the cocoa and industrial sub-sectors in 2022″, it added.

 Balance of payments – imports likely to be higher

The report said the Current Account deficit is likely to widen to 5.0% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2022, from an expected 3.9% for 2021.

“Whereas we expect a recovery in gold production and exports over the coming year, we simultaneously also see a notable rise in the imports of goods. As the economy continues to recover from the pandemic, non-oil imports may increase further. Also, given the government’s expansionary fiscal policy stance, capital goods imports will likely remain elevated over the next two year. Higher international oil prices too could continue to widen the trade balance.”

Furthermore, “cocoa production and exports could still be dragged lower due to fertiliser shortages. As of Q2:21, cocoa and gold exports combined accounted for around 55.3% of total merchandise exports.”

Eurobond market access diminishes  

It again pointed out that the country’s ability to tap the Eurobond market may further diminish, whilst the foreign exchange reserves could remain under pressure unless the government acquires alternative sources of external financing. 

“As global risk may worsen further in the first-half of 2022, and Ghana’s ability to tap the Eurobond market may further wane. Foreign exchange reserves could remain under pressure in 2022 — unless the government acquires alternative sources of external bilateral and multilateral funding.”



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We’re committed to investing more in Ghana – MTN Group CEO

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Telecom gaint, MTN, has given the firm assurance of investing more in Ghana despite the current economic environment.

Speaking at a media engagement in Accra, visiting Group Chief Executive of MTN, Ralph Mupita said his outfit has taken the decision because of Ghana’s role in the group and return on investments.

He added that “we want to have a sustained investment programme so that in a market like Ghana, every Ghanaian has the capacity to enjoy the benefits of a modern connected life. And we are not changing view.”

“So if we are true to that vision, then we must sustain the CAPEX [Capital Expenditure]; and therefore we are not going to review that commitment when it comes to investment in Ghana,” he explained.

We're committed to investing more in Ghana - MTN Group CEO
Group Chief Executive of MTN, Ralph Mupita

There are fears that due to the current challenges facing the economy which has resulted in inflation hitting 23.6% in April 2022 as well as rising taxes on the company’s operations, MTN might have reviewed its capital expenditure.    

But the Group Chief Executive of MTN said otherwise, saying, it’s committed to aligning itself to a programme like the Ghana Cares initiative by the Government of Ghana.

MTN and the E-Levy

On the tax on Electronic Transfers popularly known as E-Levy, the Group Chief Executive said, for now, MTN sees it as a burden-sharing with government in terms of addressing the current challenges facing the economy.

Mr. Mupita, however, pointed out that it’s too early to find out the impact of the E-levy on its operations, but can only do so in six months’ time.

Localisation of MTN 

The Group Chief Executive of MTN intimated his outfit is committed to increasing the stake that Ghanaians can hold in MTN Ghana.

MTN, in 2018, issued about 12.5% of its shares to the public.

But presently, the investing public hold about 23.7% stake in the telecom giant.

“We are looking to offload about 30% and we’ve made a lot of progress on that. 30% is the target and that is the commitment as group.”

The Group CEO added that as a company “we want more and more Ghanaians to enjoy and participate in the economic success of Ghanaians and the business.”



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GITFiC 2022 to focus on efficient mobile money penetration in Africa

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With the growth of mobile money and electronic money transfers, stakeholders in the sector are poised to discuss its challenges and new methods to enhance its efficiency at the 6th Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC).

The event which will take place again in Accra, on 23rd and 24th May, 2022 will have the Chief Executive of the Ghana Telecommunications Chamber, Dr. Ing. Ken Ashigbey as its Chief Executive

GITFiC 2022 seeks to update the evidence base of what is currently available in terms of reviewing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), data on digital trade, and in doing so, identifying potential options for estimating the value of cross border payment & settlement given the current data gaps.

The 6th Conference will, this year, consolidate the conversation from the 5th Conference on the AfCFTA and the Role of Local Governance in helping with extensive sensitisation, education, and preparing the minds of the business communities within the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District localities.

 The Vice President of VISA, MasterCard, Swift’s Senior Country Director for Western Africa, Chief Executive of Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Chief Executive of the Association of Micro-finance Institutions in Kenya, and the Regional Head of Société Général in West Africa based in Abidjan makes up the first panel on day one for discussion.

The theme is “Towards an Effective and Efficient Mobile Money Transactional Penetrations in Africa; A Catalyst to solving Cross Border Payment & Settlement, an Anticipated-Barrier within the AfCFTA; – The Role of Financial Regulators and Stakeholders”.

The second day of the conference christened; the Trade Minister’s Panel, will see some selected Trade Ministers within the continent joining the conclave.

The final panel discussion on day 2 is on the theme “Leveraging on the pillars of Trade-Finance – A catalyst for Industrial Growth and Acceleration Post Pandemic; the Role of Payment, Financing, Risk Mitigation, and Access to Information”.

This panel will seek to address current woes facing industries due to the prolonged restrictions on the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and the post pandemic – the available finance options for industry.

The Vice President of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, the Head of Trade Finance at the African Development Bank, the Ivorian President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Special Advisor to the Ivorian President of the Federation of SMEs comprise the third panel.



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Akufo-Addo urges African countries to work together and fully utilise AfCFTA

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President Nana Akufo-Addo has urged African countries to integrate more closely through competitive business, political cooperation, and investment to establish an African Beyond Aid agenda. According to him, African countries should make the most of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) by adding value to their resources before exporting them, in order to accrue more revenue.

Speaking at the Academy of African Business and Development’s 22nd Annual Conference, President Akufo Addo said African economies can be transformed through value added industrialisation.

“African countries need to work more closely, deeply and competitively through trade to enhance initiatives. Together, we need to build our continent and hold each other up.”

“That’s the only way we can grow organically”, he added.

He also called on African countries to double their efforts to develop in a sustainable manner and take responsibility for its sustainable growth.

He claimed that while Africa was the richest continent in the planet, the vast majority of its people were the poorest.

The president commended the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), through the agency of OPSA for hosting the annual Academy of African Business and Development conference.

Simon Sigue, President of the Academy of African Business and Development, argued that Africa’s intra-trade activity should be expanded to improve economies.

“Africa’s economy is growing. When you look at it you could see, but we need to have a connection to build each other together”, he stated

The AABD annual conferences aim at facilitating multi-disciplinary research by stimulating collaborations between Africa based researchers and professionals and their counterparts around the world.

This is done by broadening and deepening global understanding of various issues relevant to Africa’s business and development, as well as advancing solutions to some of her challenges.



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