Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah in bus folder

Dr. Kofi Wampah

Government has cancelled plans to issue a 5-year domestic bond worth GH?300 million ($114 million) this month, the Central Bank said on Friday.

According to analysts, the move is to avoid a further hike in the yields.

Yaw Abalo, the Central Bank?s treasury head, said Ghana?s Finance Ministry decided not to go ahead with the auction.

This follows Government?s decision earlier this week to put on hold plans to issue a $1 billion Eurobond in 2014 to avoid paying a higher yield.

The last 5-year bond auctioned in September attracted a 19.04 percent yield.

Yields on government debt have been on the rise since January.

The rate for Bank of Ghana?s benchmark 91-day bill rose to 23.1678 percent last Friday from 22.8927 percent at the previous auction.

Also, yields on Ghana?s 3-year bond were trading at around 24 percent on Friday, according to Reuters data.

In comparison, the yield on Kenya?s three-year bond is around 10.9 percent and Kenya is set to go ahead with a Eurobond issue soon.

Analysts said Ghana?s high rates reflect pressures on its public finances, which have deterred foreign investors from its debt. The cancellation of the 5-year auction was expected and meant the government was becoming uncomfortable with the level of interest rates, they said.

Meanwhile, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Ghana will hold its 60th regular meeting beginning March 31, 2014, to review developments in the economy.

The meeting will conclude with a press conference on April 2, 2014 to announce the decision of the MPC on the appropriate positioning of the Bank?s policy rate.

The current monetary policy rate stands at 18 percent.

By Samuel Boadi

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