The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has secured a US$300million facility raised by the Bank of Ghana on its behalf to refinance Cocoa Bills and or enhancement programs.
This follows the signing of a new three-year receivables-backed trade finance agreement of US$300million with six international banks that were brought together and named as “Arranging Group” on Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
The “Arranging Group” include; Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A. (“Rabobank”), Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (“CACIB”), Natixis (“Natixis”), Societe Generale (“SG”), and MUFG Bank, Ltd. (“MUFG”), (together, the “Mandated Lead Arrangers” or “MLAs” or “Bookrunners” or “Underwriters”) and Ghana International Bank plc (“GHIB”, the “Mandated Lead Arranger” or “MLA”) (together with the MLAs and Bookrunners, the “Arranging Group”).
The Arranging Group was joined by DZ Bank and Nedbank as Mandated Lead Arrangers. The transaction has been successfully closed following a targeted syndication process.
The facility will pay an initial margin of 295bps p.a. over USD LIBOR and will include a margin incentive mechanism subject to the achievement of the above-mentioned environmental & socials objectives.
Commenting on the fully underwritten facility, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COCOBOD, Hon. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, said “Ghana Cocoa Board is pleased with the signing of this facility which will go a long way to help in carrying out its sustainability programs in all cocoa C2 – Internal Natixis C2 – Internal Natixis regions to enhance the social and environmental sustainability of cocoa farming and also improve the livelihood of farmers.’’
COCOBOD said it will ensure sustainability of the cocoa economy in Ghana by continuing to institute several strategies, projects and programs that seek to ensure good agronomic practices to preserve the fragile tropical ecosystem, improve labour practices and conditions as well as the livelihoods of farmers including women and children.
In order to achieve greater strides in these objectives, COCOBOD said it has “chosen to include environmental and social objectives in the credit agreement agreed with the Arranging Group, aiming at: – Promoting environmentally friendly cocoa production – Increasing sensitivity to child labour – Empowering women”.