🚩 Parliament Thursday approved the issuance of a Sovereign Guarantee of up to GH¢2 billion in favour of Ghana Amalgamated Trust (GAT) Limited. GAT, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) backed by the government, was incorporated in December 2018 to raise up to GH¢2 billion and invest in five indigenous banks. The aim is to rescue the five indigenous commercial banks that failed to meet the BoG's minimum capital requirement of GH¢400 million.
🚩 Works and Housing Minister Ata Akyea has commended management of Forever Construction and Consultancy Limited (FCCL) highly for its affordable housing scheme. To the Minister, the initiative has the potential of taking care of the accommodation challenges confronting average Ghanaians. As a result, he has suggested to private sectors like FCCL to partner government take its affordable housing project a notch higher.
🚩 Oil marketing companies (OMCs) are bemoaning the dire impact the cedi depreciation is having on their operations. The OMCs warned that they may be forced to increase their prices at the pumps if the rate of depreciation continues. The local currency has depreciated more than 8.5 percent this year, hitting GH¢5.54 from GH¢4.99 at the beginning of the year in forex bureaus.
🚩 Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta says he is upbeat about the turnaround of the depreciating Ghanaian cedi against the major currencies in some few weeks. According to the Finance Minister, the reversal and stability is expected to recur in the next two or so weeks given the capital inflows of about US$900m coming in from Cocobod proceeds and the Eurobond.
🚩 The $280-million Takoradi-3 (T3) thermal plant in the Aboadze Power Enclave in the Shama District in the Western Region has been left idle for about six years due to operational failures. After its inauguration in April 2013, the plant worked for about six months, generating between 60 and 70 megawatts (MW) of power, before it broke down and has since not been fixed. Constructed to generate 132MW, the plant has since the breakdown not added a single megawatt to the national grid.
🚩 Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has announced 10 critical policy measures by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies to improve the country’s business environment. A multi-sectoral technical team across government agencies presented the ambitious business reform plan to key stakeholders in Accra yesterday. The reforms cover starting a business, obtaining construction permits, getting electricity, trading across borders, and resolving insolvency. The reforms will take effect between March and June 2019.
🚩 The Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC) has said it will sanction Power Distribution Services (PDS) Ghana if it finds that the recent power outages breach its service delivery guidelines. Mami Dufie Ofori, Executive Secretary, said the Commission is closely monitoring the development and will initiate investigations into the outages to ascertain the real causes and will not hesitate to apply the required sanctions if need be.
The service provider, she added, will be compelled to compensate customers if the investigations find them deserving of blame.
🚩 The two lead growers of cocoa have jointly rejected aspects of a global standard on cocoa production as inimical to the fortunes of smallholder farmers and the cocoa industries in the two countries in general. Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, who supply about 60 per cent of the world's cocoa, insist that those aspects of the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) 34101 Standards on Sustainable and Traceable Cocoa production would increase cost, make farmers and their farms vulnerable to third parties and generally impede production when finally implemented.
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