Cedi - Preferred Currency on International market

Cedis Economy

Wed, 14 Oct 2009 Source: NANA SIFA TWUM, LONDON

Ghana’s currency, the ‘Ghana Cedi’ is among 24 most preferred currencies of emerging economic countries for global business.

It ranks very high among the list of currencies of emerging economic countries like the Mexican, Chilean and the Colombian New Pesos, the Russian Rouble, the Czech Koruna the South African Rand and the Real of the South Korean among other national currencies.

Ghana,s Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffour, made the disclosure at an impressive occasion to mark the Golden Jubilee anniversary of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) in the United Kingdom.

The occasion also marked the 11th anniversary of the Ghana International Bank (GIB), which was incorporated in the United Kingdom in 1998 to take over the erstwhile operations of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) in the UK.

The bank was the first sub-Saharan African bank to establish an agency in the City of London in October 1959 to facilitate its international trading activities. The GCB enjoyed several years of continuos and successful banking operations in London until it was refocused and renamed in 1998.

Dr Duffuor noted that the country’s currency had achieved that feat because the government had worked so hard to improve the economy within a very short time of 10 months in office and added that the nation’s “economy now has a very stable currency which serves as an anchor for anti-inflationary monetary policy.”

He was optimistic that the cedi would excel in the years ahead because it would not face challenges that militated against it such as the combined effects of the international financial crisis, the soaring energy and food prices and excessive government spending which impacted negatively on inflation and exchange rates, and therefore affected the strength of the cedi.

The finance minister said the government’s strategies of tackling the economic challenges had fast won the approval of donor partners leading to the approval of US$535 million by the World Bank, a Special Drawing Rights (SDR) approval of US$387 million by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved and a US$1.2 billion syndicated facility secured by COCOBOD.

“These, in addition to the existing Gross International Reserves, will go a long way not only to maintain stability but also to strengthen the local currency,” Dr Duffour stated.

He said the government was committed to pursuing measures that would ensure the attainment of macroeconomic stability, a strategy, he noted, could be accomplished through fiscal discipline, enhancement in domestic revenue mobilisation and adherence to public procurement processes.

The finance minister emphasised that provisional data on the implementation of the 2009 budget indicated that the government’s fiscal stabilisation strategy was on track and yielding results, adding that the overall budget operations for the first eight months of the year resulted in a narrow cash deficit (including grants) of GH¢901.55 million representing 4.17 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared with GH¢1.433 billion, or 8.8 per cent of GDP for the same period in 2008.

The Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr Joe Mensah, paid tribute to founder members of the bank who he said, exhibited great vision and strategic thinking by establishing the bank.

He noted that the process had not only contributed to the economic development of Ghana, but also put the nation on a high pedestal in the global market place.

Ghana’s High Commissioner to the UK, Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo, commended the staff of the bank for their dedication and hard work which had seen the bank flourish and also registered its huge credibility globally.

The Director of the Commonwealth Business Council, Mr Peter Longworth, observed that in the mist of critical economic turbulence which saw some renowned banks struggling to survive, the GIB in London sailed through successfully, a situation he attributed to good management and vision.

Dr Duffour later cut a tape to inaugurate refurbished offices and banking hall for the bank at Cheapside, London. GB