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Energy bond unsuccessful after two tries

ESLA PLC, failed to meet its target for the first tranche of the bond after a second attempt.

The managers of the bond were seeking to raise 6 billion cedis under two separate bonds.

But it accrued a total of 4.6 billion cedis after it closed the auction last Friday.

The 7-year bond received the targeted 2.4 billion cedis while the 10-year bond accrued about 2.2 billion cedis, below the target of 3.6 billion cedis.

The managers also accepted an interest rate of 19.5% for the 10-year bond.

ESLA which has been given the mandate by Government to issue the bond a week earlier auctioned the bond but received low proceeds forcing it to extend the auction by another week.

Proceeds of the bond are to be used to clear the debt in the energy sector which as at December 2016 was 2.5 billion dollars.

Lead managers of the bond, Standard Chartered Bank and Fidelity Bank, have however told Citi Business News the move is a target program hence managers of the bond will continue to engage the market and if the market pricing is right, they will take it.

Also, above the 6 billion cedis target amount the managers say they will revalue the whole program and go into the market when the conditions are right, depending on the cash flows.

Government in June this year announced Fidelity Bank and Standard Chartered Bank as lead managers of the bond.

In October, two road shows were conducted both locally and internationally which managers described as plausible.

Initially, the two bonds were extended for a day.

At the time, the managers attributed the decision to requests by some large investors.

But the decision to extend the 10 year bond for a week was not known.

Economist, Dr. Lord Mensah had predicted that government will not be paying an interest rate of less than 20 percent.

He argued that this is evident from rates paid on previous sovereign bonds issued by the government.

Reacting to possible reasons for the under subscription, Investment Banker, Mahama Iddrisu blamed the development on the political composition of the board, as well as the impact of low liquidity due to the operation of a Treasury Single Account (TSA).

By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

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