Ghana Cocoa Board may struggle to fully pay back loans of $1.3 billion as this season’s harvest will likely be smaller than first anticipated, according to the head of the industry regulator.
The world’s second-biggest grower signed for the loans with lenders such as Credit Agricole SA and Natixis SA prior to the start of the annual harvest in October to pay farmers for their beans. Ghana will probably not meet its target of 850,000 metric tons due to dry weather and plant disease, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, chief executive officer of the regulator, said Monday in an interview in the capital, Accra.
While recent rains may improve yields in the smaller harvest that runs from June to September, they may not be sufficient to make up for losses suffered in the main harvest that continues until then, he said. He declined to give a new forecast for the crop.
“We are only praying that we’ll be able to meet our collateralized facility because the crop wasn’t as good as anticipated,” Aidoo said. “We just started paying the first installment” in February, he said.
The board purchased 625,111 tons of cocoa for the season through Feb. 22, compared with 640,075 tons for the same period in the previous crop, according to a person familiar with the matter.
While Ghana may not achieve its forecast for the season, it’s already selling cocoa at a loss after it chose not to lower prices for farmers even as global prices slumped by a third from July 2016 through the end of last year. The regulator is losing the equivalent of about $600 for every ton sold this season, it said in February.
The board is in talks with the government on ways to pay for operational expenses and liabilities as the cost of debt on local markets is too expensive, said Aidoo. Over the past year, it sold bills and notes at rates of as much as 22 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“We are still discussing with government and we’ll find some solutions,” Aidoo said.
For the next harvest, the cocoa board will target a harvest of 900,000 tons and again seek to raise $1.3 billion in syndicated loans, Aidoo said. Last month, the International Cocoa Organization forecast a 900,000 tons harvest for the season.
Neighboring Ivory Coast is the top global producer.
Public institutions, others receive over Ȼ80,000 investment from Polytank Ghana
More than ten thousand Ghanaians in various communities and public institutions have benefited from Polytank Ghana’s policy of helping improve access to water.
Spending over Ȼ80,000 in tank donations to marginalized areas and groups, Polytank Ghana’s benevolence has impacted institutions as the Ghana Prisons Service, the Ghana Police, some Fire Service stations, Educational institutions, international NGOs, rural communities, among others.
Being the lead producer of durable water storage tanks in Ghana, Polytank believes that access to clean water for all humans must be viewed as a right.
The role of clean water in ensuring good health, proper sanitation and improved livelihoods is a daily reality.
Polytank Ghana, a subsidiary of the Mohinani Group has adopted as a cardinal principle, a quote former UNSecretary-General, Kofi Anan, who said: “Access to safe water is a fundamental human need and therefore a basic human right”.
Executive Director of the Group, Mr. Ashok Mohinani, emphasised: “the Group’s commitment to assist the government meet the global climatic challenge of ensuring sustainable access to clean water, is a way of giving back to the communities in which we operate.”
“Water is not just life but a basic human right which needs to be preserved and not wasted. Our business Group gives these storage tanks to people who have limited access to clean water in order to manage the little they have to consume”.
He said: “It is our hope that these gestures will go a long way to improve the health and general wellbeing of the beneficiaries.”
“As we mark World Water Day today, we are happy to reiterate our company’s commitment to invest in quality and affordable water management products that will help ensure that more Ghanaians have improved access to clean water always no matter where you live”.
Touching on this year’s theme, “Nature For Water,” Mr. Mohinani encouraged all Ghanaians to desist from actions that have adverse effects on the country’s freshwater resources, pledging the company’s resolve to adopt more environmentally friendly methods in it operations.
BREAKING NEWS: BoG takes over Unibank
The Bank of Ghana has announced it has taken over the management of private bank, Unibank.
The Governor of the central bank explained at a press conference, the takeover is due to challenges facing the bank. He mentioned weak supervisory standards and weak operations as the cause of the challenges.
Ernest Addison said the bank, last year, provided inaccurate data during the central bank’s effort to resolve the problems
He assured depositors their money is safe, stressing “we are not liquidating the bank, we are saving it.”
The take-over comes weeks after Unibank announced it was taking over adb.
Facebook’s value plunges $37bn on data controversy
Facebook shares took a big hit Monday, shaving about $37 billion off the value of the company.
The stock tumbled about 7% Monday on news that data firm Cambridge Analytica, which had ties to Trump’s campaign, reportedly accessed information from about 50 million Facebook users. This is the stock’s biggest drop, on a percentage basis, in four years.
Even after Monday’s plunge, Facebook is still one of the nation’s most valuable companies, with a market cap of about $500 billion. It’s behind only Apple (APPL), Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT) and about even with Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA).
Mark Zuckerberg holds about 400 million shares of Facebook (FB), and his net worth plunged by about $5 billion Monday afternoon. Shares closed the day down $12.53.
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