- Country will use 20% of share sale to diversify portfolio
- Africa’s biggest gold producer plans to sell 49% of fund
Ghana plans to use part of the proceeds from an initial public offering in a gold royalty fund to invest in similar entities.
Africa’s biggest gold producer wants to use about 20% of the $500 million it seeks to raise through the IPO later this year to buy stakes in other royalty companies, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said in an interview.
Ghana is “now the continent’s biggest bullion producer,” he said. “We seek just to leverage that and have some of the world’s top gold producers as part of our portfolio.”
The country hopes to benefit from a high gold price that’s boosted the stocks of producers such as Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Corp. to multi-year highs. The fund will be structured to pay dividends from income earned from the government’s gold operations and will be listed in London and on the local bourse.
The rest of the proceeds will be used to develop the gold value chain including a refinery, jewelery tourism market and infrastructure projects, Ofori-Atta said. Ghana plans to keep a 51% stake in the fund, he said.
Ofori-Atta brushed off a threat by Ghana’s main opposition party that it will reverse the share sale transaction should it win elections that are scheduled for December.
“Similar comments were made in the past but after the politics is done, everyone knows what is good for Ghana,” he said. “We are a country that has a high respect for the rule of law and successive governments respect the nation’s contractual obligations.”