Ghana’s cedi slumped to a record against the dollar after a dovish tilt by the nation’s central bank reduced the appeal of fixed-income assets, sapping foreign-investor demand for the country’s bonds.
The cedi has weakened 11 per cent this year, the most among more than 140 currencies tracked by Bloomberg after the central bank unexpectedly cut its benchmark rate in January and signalled more easing may be in store. Out of the 2.1 billion cedis ($393 million) of two-year and longer-dated maturities sold by the government through Jan. 31 this year, foreign investors bought just 6.3 per cent, according to data from the Central Securities Depository Ghana Ltd. That compares with more than 30 per cent in 2018.
“Declining capital inflows from offshore demand for the country’s cedi bonds, coupled with maturities not being rolled over, will affect foreign-exchange supply on the market going forward,” Gaimin Nonyane, a senior macroeconomic specialist at Ecobank Group in London, said by phone. Companies stocking up on dollars before transferring earnings in March also weighed on the cedi, she said.
The cedi declined 0.4 per cent to 5.5175 per dollar by 11:52 a.m. in Accra, the capital, heading for the weakest level since Bloomberg started keeping the records in 1994. The currency slumped 3.1 per cent on Thursday and is down 4.9 percent this week.
A member of the Bank of Ghana’s Monetary Policy Committee said this month rates could be eased further as early as March, following the 100 basis points cut to 16 percent on Jan. 28. A planned Eurobond sale may support the currency as the central bank uses proceeds to replenish its foreign reserves.