Ghana’s currency, cedi took the title of the world’s best performer against the dollar this week. The cedi which in previous weeks performed abysmally has suddenly gained weight becoming the best performing currency in recent days.
There is strong indication that the debt distressed country is moving closer to unlocking an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout.
A report carried by Bloomberg which was sighted by DGN Online stated that “The currency was the cheapest in Africa, more than 30% undervalued versus its 25-year history last week, so some rebound after the huge fall recently isn’t that surprising,” said Charles Robertson, the global chief economist at Renaissance Capital Ltd. in London. “Also we have the IMF in town, which should pave the way for dollar support.”
The gains came even as the African nation put its local-currency sovereign bonds in what Fitch Ratings described as a “default-like process,” and the holders of its dollar bonds braced for capital losses. The restructuring is needed to put Ghana’s debt on a sustainable path and secure a $3 billion IMF loan.
Investors are returning to some of the riskiest corners of emerging markets amid the dollar’s biggest quarterly decline since 2010. They’re betting that a Federal Reserve pivot to a less-hawkish monetary stance will continue to weigh on the greenback in the coming months.
The cedi advanced Friday below GHC13 per dollar, the strongest level since October on a closing basis. It’s still down 52% this year.
Optimism on the cedi “is a combination of a somewhat more hawkish central bank, some progress on the restructuring front and a bit of buying the news,” said Simon Quijano-Evans, the chief economist at Gemcorp Capital Management Ltd. in London.
Other emerging currencies that outperformed this week include the Vietnamese dong, Chilean peso, Costa Rican colon and Chinese yuan.
By Vincent Kubi