Connect with us


Ghana Ranks 2nd On List Of Countries With Highest Default Risk In 2022



Ghana has been ranked second (behind El-Salvador) in a list of 25 countries with the highest default risks in 2022.


According to Bloomberg, the sovereign debt vulnerability ranking gives insight into which countries are most likely to default on their debt obligations for this year.

Components or elements based on which each country is ranked include; government bond yields, a 5 year credit default swap, interest expense in 2022 and government debt in 2022.

According to Bloomberg, Ghana’s bond yields spread for instance has risen to 17.1% this year, with interest payments on debts as well as total public debt rising to 7.2% and 84.6% respectively.

On the same list, neighbouring countries such as Nigeria was ranked 24th having government bond yields spread of 12.8%, interest expense of 2.3% and government debt of 58.4%

Currently, Ghana’s economy is in crisis and as a result the country is currently at the doorstep of the IMF seeking for a Balance of Payment support programme.

Speaking on the country’s return to the IMF at Accra Business School on Thursday, July 14, Vice President Dr Mahammudu Bawumia, noted Ghana’s return to the IMF is as a result of a quadruple whammy.

The quadruple whammy he explained were the energy sector excess capacity payments, the banking sector clean-up, COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war.

Dr Bawumia said, the excess capacity payments of GHC 17 billion relate to a legacy of take or pay contracts that saddled the country’s economy with annual excess capacity charges of close to $1 billion. 

Dr Bawumia said these were basically contracted to supply energy to Ghana in excess of Ghana’s requirements, but we were obligated to pay for the power whether the country uses it or not.

“Not keeping up with the excess capacity payments would have meant throwing the country back into a new bout of dumsor.”

Bawumia said the country was also confronted with a banking crisis as a result of the mismanagement of the banking sector.

He said Ghana’s banking system was on the verge of collapse and not dealing decisively with it would have meant disaster for the economy with millions of people losing their savings.

“Direct COVID-19 expenditure amounted to GHC 12.0 billion, made up of GHC8.1 billion in 2020 and GHC 3.9billion in 2021.”

He indicated that the three items of expenditure cumulatively amounted to GHC54.0 billion (the equivalent of some US$7.0 billion), which was borrowed.

“The Ministry of Finance estimates that the interest payment on this borrowing for the three items amounts to GHC8.5 billion annually. This is some 23% of Ghana’s annual interest payments of GHC 37 billion,” he said.

“It should be noted that without the GHC54.0 billion debt for the three exceptional items (COVID-19, Financial Sector and Energy), Ghana’s debt to GDP would be within the sustainability threshold of some 68% instead of the 76.6% at the end of 2021.”

“If you take out the fiscal impact of this quadruple whammy, Ghana will not be going to the IMF for support because our fiscal, debt and balance of payments outlook would be sustainable.

“Of the four factors, two (COVID-19 and the Russia Ukraine war) were external and the other two (the banking sector clean up and the excess capacity payments) were the result of policies of the previous government.”

According to the Vice President, the immediate task for the country is to restore fiscal and debt sustainability – through revenue and expenditure measures and structural reforms, adding that “non-concessional borrowing should be curtailed to enhance debt sustainability.

Copyright © 2020-GhanaFeed.Com-Ghana News, Breaking News, Original Reporting, News Analysis and Fearless Journalism.
GhanaFeed.Com is an independent news media providing original and unbiased online news reporting and news analysis. Our mission is to provide excellent fearless journalist. Through our team of trained journalists, we report on what you care about, break big stories that hold major institutions and political structures accountable for their actions, and expose injustices that change people's lives.