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US SEC begins investigation into $2.25b bond issue



The United States Security and Exchange Commission, SEC, is to begin a full blown investigation into the contentious $2.25billion bond issue undertaken by the Ministry of Finance.

It would be recalled that the Minority in Parliament had petitioned the US SEC over the bond issue, alleging conflict of interest on the part of the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta and a director of Franklin Templeton, believed to have ties with the minister.

Franklin Templeton was said to have taking up 95% of the bond.

Though the minister appeared in Parliament on Wednesday to shed light on the transaction, the Minority MPs were not satisfied, insisting that he did not address issues bordering on relational interest in the bond issue.

Disclosing the development, the Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, said a case manager, Jennifer M. Carr, has been handed the brief to commence the probe.

“I can confirm to you that the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States of America has formally communicated to us and informed us that a case manager by name Jennifer M. Carr has been appointed as the case manager on this case.

“The communication indicates that they are launching a full scale investigation into the US 2.25 billion bond issue which as you do know has generated considerable controversies. We still insist that there is the need to raise concerns over the general lack of transparency, the general abuse of process, conflict of interest and violation of the laws of Ghana and other international financial laws, and that is why we continue to ask all the questions”, Okudzeto said.

Okudzeto Ablakwa, while speaking to Citi News, said the Minority would explore all options available to prove that the bond was not issued in the right manner.

“Unfortunately, when the Finance Minister appeared before Parliament, he did not satisfy all the questions we had asked of him in our half hour motion. Our half hour motion was very specific. We wanted full documentation. As we speak, we do not have the prospectus. He did not submit the agreement that had been signed between the book runners, the government of Ghana and Franklin Templeton , we don’t have that agreement…so we will continue to pursue this matter,” he explained.

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