Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has maintained that the $2.25billion bond issued by the government in April was done transparently without any “breaches of integrity.”
The Minority at a press conference following the issuance of the bond accused government of wrongdoing and Mr. Ofori-Atta of conflict of interest and insider trading.
According to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislators, Franklin Templeton Investment Limited which acquired about 95percent of the domestic bond has a direct relationship with Enterprise Group—a company Mr. Ofori-Atta has an interest in.
The Minority subsequently triggered Mr. Ofori-Atta’s appearance before parliament to disclose the circumstances leading to the issuance of the bond.
Responding to the Minority’s claim in an hour long address, Mr. Ofori-Atta explicitly stated that nothing illicit or untoward occurred in the transaction.
“It may be tempting to say that the apparent attempt to manufacture some form of integrity deficit in the process is generally borne of out a lack of understanding of the actual process on the part of the minority,” he said.
He added: “All prospective bidders bid through their primary dealers, who in turn submitted the investor’s bids through the Central Securities Depository platform. The joint transaction advisers then collate these bids to build up a book on which the bonds are issued.
“At no time during the book building process did the Ministry of Finance negotiate with any investor in any way, and it will indeed be quite difficult to manipulate the process when the three financial institutions are governed strictly by the Bank of Ghana’s rules and regulations.”
“There were no breaches of integrity either on government’s part or on the joint book runner’s part,” he emphasized.
On that note he advised the Minority against making further negative commentary on issuance of the bond as it deters investors saying “we must appreciate and recognize the potential disastrous consequences some of the discussions on air about this bond will have on investor confidence in our country as a safe haven for investment and growth.”