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Cedi depreciation: ‘We should be okay’ in a couple of weeks – Ofori Atta

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, says the free fall of the cedi against major foreign currencies especially the dollar, will be curtailed in the coming weeks.

He says the government expects some fresh injection of capital such as the $750 million Standard Bank bridge facility to deal with the challenges the cedi is currently facing.

The government is also eyeing funds from COCOBOD and the launch of the $3 billion Eurobond.
The cedi has depreciated against the dollar from GHc 4.9 to over GHc 5.5 since the turn of the year sparking concern in the business community, among others.

In 2019, the cedi depreciated by 8.4 per cent against the dollar.

The Bank of Ghana attributed this to the strengthening of the dollar against currencies in emerging and other frontier markets.

President Nana Akufo-Addo has assured that the government is doing all it can to halt the fall of the cedi, which has left him “extremely upset and anxious”.

Speaking to Citi News, Ken Ofori-Atta said the measures put in place by the government will yield fruits in about two weeks.

“Foreign exchange is a price which means it is demand and supply and what I am saying is that the resources that we are going after; $300 million, $600 million and another $750 million and 3 billion and [I think] we should be okay. And all of this should happen within the next two or so weeks.”

The Minority in Parliament has described as unsustainable, recent measures adopted by the government to tackle the fall of the cedi against major trading currencies especially the US dollar.

Deputy Minority Leader, James Klutse Avedzi, insisted the injection of some $800 million of reserves from the Central Bank into the economy to stabilize the currency won’t work beyond a couple of weeks.

He said of the injection of the $800 million, “is good [but] what will happen is that when that money gets into the system, it will hold the rate of depreciation a bit… probably for a week or two.”

Addressing forex market

In response to the recent concerns of the strength of the cedi, the Bank of Ghana turned its attention to the forex market.

It issued directives on how participants in the forex market must conduct their businesses to stabilise the cedi and improve information flow.

The directives were categorized under areas such as ethics, fairness and integrity; general dealings principles and market conduct, as well as risk management compliance among others.

Implementation of the new directives begun on February 25, 2019.

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