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05 July 2017

NDC MPs head to Luxembourg over $2.25bn bond

The Minority in parliament led by Haruna Iddrisu has petitioned the Commission de Surveillance de Secteur Financier (CSSF) in Luxembourg over a $2.25billion bond issued by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta in April 2017. Three minority MPs Dr Dominic Ayine, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, and Isaac Adongo have filed a whistleblower complaint with a regulator in Luxembourg known as the Commission de Surveillance de Secteur Financier (CSSF), to investigate the $2.25bn bond issued to help satisfy revelations per their findings regarding jurisdictional issues in the bond.

This follows an earlier petition filed at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which is also probing the issuance of the bond in which US-registered Company, Franklin Templeton, purchased 95 per cent of the 15-year and seven-year bonds. The SEC is investigating suspected conflict of interest and insider trading which are violations under US law by Trevor G. Trefgarne, Director of Franklin Templeton and a Board Chairman of Enterprise Group – a company owned and founded by Ghana’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Wednesday July 5, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu disclosed that following the investigations by NDC MPs, although parent company Franklin Templeton was registered in the United States of America, it would appear it used a subsidiary company registered in Luxembourg to purchase 95 per cent of the bonds.

Mr Iddrisu further added that contrary to the impression created by the Finance Minister that the prospectus for the issuance of the said 2017 bond was entirely new, their findings show that the notification document or prospectus he presented to parliament is the same prospectus used by the previous NDC government in the issuance of its September 2016 bond which was based on an unfettered book-building approach.

One of the petitioners and member of Parliament for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said the Minority will be heading to the supreme court for interpretation, as the half-Hour motion by the minority for the Minister to explain and answer their questions were not done to their satisfaction.

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