Cedi hope rises on expected US $4bn inflows

Investment bankers in the country are confident the cedi will rebound from its poor performance against its major trading currencies when an estimated US$4billion inflow comes into the country in the next three months.

Mr. Kelvin Adarkwah, Executive Director of H&K Brokers and Trade Solution, is optimistic expected inflows from Eurobond, cocoa syndicated loan and donors’ funds will shore-up the cedi’s value.

“Roughly, we are looking at around US$4billion — so if you look at that quantum of funds it should be able to support the cedi in the short-term toward the end of the year. That is why I am so confident that the cedi will finish the year strongly,” he said.

Mr. Adarkwah made these comments during a panel discussion in Accra on the topic, ‘The Fluctuations of Currency Exchange Rates and Their Impact on Doing Business in Ghana’, organised by Good Governance Africa.

The discussion was aimed at identifying fundamental causes of the cedi’s fluctuation to assess the impact of its instability on businesses, and to provide recommendations on the way forward for the country.

“The medium- to long-term future of the economy needs to be addressed by policy-makers. We need to address one fundamental issue, which is that our demand for imports of foreign currency is higher than our exports. Obviously, this creates imbalances which need to be addressed,” Mr. Adarkwah noted.

Fiscal and monetary managers of the economy are upbeat about recovery of the cedi following its recent depreciation against especially the US dollar, and expect the US$1.5billion Eurobond, US$1.8billion cocoa syndication, and about US$500million from donor partners to save the local currency.

This forecast portrays a brighter end to the year for the Ghanaian economy, which has been bedevilled by negative exchange rate fluctuations.

The country’s currency has over the past few years been on the downturn, and was ranked among one of the worst-performing currencies in the world last year.

At the beginning of the year, the US dollar exchanged at GH¢3.2, but as at August 10, 2015 it was trading at GH¢4.1 — a 24.2 percent depreciation in eight months.

According to financial analysts, the cedi is expected to depreciate by about another 5 percent by the end of this year.

But Mr. Adarkwah projected that if all these factors come into play, then the cedi will move to between 3.3 and 3.5 on the exchange market.

Dr. Godfred Bokpin, Head of the Finance Department of the University of Ghana Business School, is also optimistic that if government is able to ensure fiscal discipline from now up to next year, then the cedi will rebound and the economy can generate enough cash inflows in order to service the debts.

Mr. Bokpin recommended that: “What government has to do is be able to identify projects that can generate cash inflows on their own, and based on that borrow against them knowing these projects are economically viable and self-financing”.