Business News of 2014-06-17

BoG records more foreign exchange payments than receipts

Foreign exchange outflows by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) were higher than receipts (inflows) for the first half of 2013.

This is in spite of the fact that the foreign exchange payments which totalled US$3,209,368,473 (over US$3.2 billion), represented a decrease on the previous year’s figure of US$3,512,124,741 (over US$3.5 billion).

Foreign exchange payments in the first half of 2013 registered a decline of US$302,756,268 (over US$302 million) or 8.6 per cent over payments in the first half of 2012.

According to a report of the Auditor General on the Statement of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments of the Bank of Ghana for the Half-Year Ended June 30, 2013, foreign exchange receipts for the period, totalled US$2,489,029,208 (over US$2.4 billion).

The report released this year said that represented an increase of US$320,594,265 over the previous year’s receipts of US$2,168,434,943 (over US$2.1 billion) in the half year.

Thus, foreign exchange receipts by the BoG for the first half of 2013 showed an increase of 14.8 per cent over receipts in 2012 during the same period, the report from the Auditor-General’s department indicated.

BoG’s foreign exchange inflows for the first half of 2013 were derived from cocoa, gold, manganese, oil revenue, capital and invisible receipts.

The report indicates that foreign exchange from invisible receipts constituted the highest inflows, contributing 40.1 per cent of total inflows as against 36.1 per cent from capital receipts, which constituted the highest inflow in the corresponding period of 2012.

The report states that “As a result of increases in invisible receipts and revenue from oil, as well as reduction in forex payments for oil and non-oil imports and invisible payments, BoG’s record of net position decreased from a net deficit of US$1,343.69 million during the first half of 2012 to a net deficit of US$720.34 million in the first half of 2013 representing a fall of US$623.35 million or 46.4 per cent in deficits.”

Increase in foreign exchange reserve assets

There was also an increase in the foreign reserve assets of BoG from a balance of US$4,098,116,219 (over US$4 billion) as at June 30, 2012, to US$4,910,654,194 (over US$4.9 billion) as at June 30, 2013.

This showed an increase of US$812,537,975 (over US$812 million) or 19.8 per cent, which the report explains was as a result of a rise in all BoG’s reserve items except holdings in Special Drawing Rights (SDR), which fell marginally.

The SDR is an international reserve asset created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1969 to supplement its member countries’ official reserves.

According to the report, Ghana also enjoyed a total relief of US$103,658,993 million from its external creditors in the form of cancellation of principal and interest on loans, which matured during the period.

This was, however, lower than the US$121,001,223 million granted for the corresponding period of 2012.

The report also showed a decrease in Japanese commodity related grants in the form of direct payments for goods and services for on-going projects.