Government delays launch of Agyapa IPO on London Stock Exchange

Deputy finance minister says the government will hold off going to the capital markets with the gold royalties deal until the Special Prosecutor files a report

The government has halted plans to go ahead with the launch of the initial public offering (IPO) for the Agyapa Royalties deal on the London Stock Exchange.

A letter signed by the deputy finance minister Charles Adu Boahen and sighted by Graphic Business said the launch was being deferred pending publication of the results of a corruption risk assessment by the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu.

The document says: “Upon receipt of your letter dated 28th of September 2020, whereby you requested additional relevant information, including the opinion of the principal legal advisor to government, this Ministry … submitted additional documents as requested by your Office.

“We wish to use this opportunity to clarify the issue of time in the transaction as captured in the document, titled ‘Overview of Agyapa Royalties transaction’, you referred to in your 28th September letter,” it says.

Civil society protests

“Kindly note that the document was prepared about two months ago by the transaction advisors to update the Minister on the progress of the transaction.

“The timing expressed in the document was the intention of the transaction advisors at that time to launch the IPO by the end of September 2020 to be completed by the end of the year.”

Some civil society groups have called on President Akufo-Addo to halt the Agyapa Royalties agreement until all documents covering the deal have been made public.

Despite holding a consultative meeting on the deal with the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, the groups still believe the agreement lacks transparency.

The chairman of Parliament’s finance committee, Mark Assibey-Yeboah, had told Asaase Radio that the initial public offer would be listed on the London Stock Exchange in September.

About the Agyapa deal

The income investment agreement between the Government of Ghana and the Minerals Income Investment Fund, Agyapa Royalties Ltd and ARG Royalties Ltd centres around transactions to monetise gold royalties entered into under the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act 2018 (Act 978).

The target is for the arrangement, once executed, to make immediately available to Ghana US$500 million, with another $500 million to follow.

Fred Dzakpata

* Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online.
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