Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, COCOBOD CEO

The first tranche of the $1.3 billion COCOBOD Cocoa Syndicated Loan is expected to hit the Bank of Ghana’s (BoG) account by October 2022.

This is what Joy Business has picked up from persons with knowledge of the Fund Raising Programme.

The second tranche of $390 million, which would be spread over three months should be coming in from November 2022 to February 2023.

Sources say the Bank of Ghana is expected to “draw down” the funds from the Ghana International Bank in London, one of the participating banks of the programme.

After that, the Central Bank will take the dollars and give the cedi equivalent to COCOBOD for cocoa purchases for the next crop season.

The inflows may help boost BoG’s reserves – a move that could help in slowing the sharp depreciation of the cedi over the past month.

The local currency is said to have depreciated against the dollar by more than 30% since the beginning of 2022.

A team made up of officials of the Finance Ministry, the Bank of Ghana and COCOBOD are expected to conclude the Road Show for the loan agreement in London today.

This was after it engaged the banks that are participating in the loan syndicated programme.

“We understand that six banks are helping COCOBOD to raise the funds, or let say acting as Lead Arrangers for the Cocoa Syndicated Loan programme”, a source told Joy Business.

The banks are the Standard Chartered Bank, Rabo Bank, Ghana International Bank and French Investment Bank – Natixis.

The rest are Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and one of Japan’s largest bank, MUFG.

The firms are expected to underwrite and lead other banks in securing the funds.

COCOBOD and Syndicated Loan programme

Since the 1992/93 crop season, COCOBOD has consistently and successfully, through the pre-export syndicated finance facility, obtained receivables-backed syndicated loan each year from the international money market to finance its cocoa purchases.

The facility, which is the largest soft commodity deal in sub-Saharan Africa, has help the COCOBOD to finance cocoa purchases and related operational activities in the crop season.