Her Excellency Akua Sena Dansua Ghana Ambassador to Germany was in Frankfurt Germany on Wednesday 21st September 2016 to witness the signing of a landmark Pre-Export Receivables Backed Trade Finance Facility for Ghana Cocoa Board.  Also present at the ceremony was the deputy minister for finance Honourable Ato Forson and the chief executive of Ghana Cocoa Board Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni.

The amount raised this year was USD 1.8 billion.The proceeds of the Facility will be utilised to assist COCOBOD in meeting its financing needs for the 2016/2017 cocoa crop.

The fully underwritten Facility was arranged by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., Deutsche Bank AG, Natixis, Nedbank Limited (acting through its London Branch) (“Nedbank”), CoöperatieveRabobank U.A. (“Rabobank”), Societe Generale and Standard Chartered Bank, (together, the “Co-ordinating Initial Mandated Lead Arrangers” or “Co-IMLAs”) with the cooperation of DZ BANK AG Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank, Frankfurt am Main (together with the Co-IMLAs, the “Bookrunners”) and Ghana International Bank plc ( the “Initial Mandated Lead Arranger” or the “IMLA”) (together with the Co-IMLAs and Bookrunners, the “Arranger Group”).

The Arranger Group was joined in senior syndication by Bank of China, CréditAgricole Corporate & Investment Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, Dubai Branch, Rand Merchant Bank, a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, ABN AMRO Bank N.V. and KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH as Senior Mandated Lead Arrangers, and joined subsequently in general syndication by Standard Bank Group, State Bank of India, Mizuho Bank, Barclays, Attijariwafa Bank Europe, Ecobank Ghana and Fidelity Bank.

COCOBOD is a Statutory Public Board established in 1947 under the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance which supervises Ghana’s cocoa industry. Ghana is the second largest cocoa exporter in the world and thus cocoa is a strategically important commodity for Ghanaian exports. Ghana cocoa is of superior quality and commands a premium.

In addition to COCOBOD’s principal functions of purchasing, marketing and exporting of cocoa, it also promotes the production of the commodity, focusing on the maximisation of cocoa production and crop yield through agronomic research programmes and major logistic management investment.

The Facility, which will be structured similarly to previous COCOBOD annual trade finance facilities, is an eleven month USD 1.8 billion Pre-Export Receivables-Backed Trade Finance Facility, the proceeds of which will be used to finance the purchase of the main cocoa crop for the 2016/2017 season commencing in October 2016. It has a 4-months moratorium and seven (7) months repayment period which starts in February, 2017 and will be completed in August, 2017. The facility was over-subscribed by US $640 million. The Facility will also include a provision for re-drawing from April 2017 to May 2017 for the light crop.

© EMH Global Ltd