Corruption risks force Ghana’s government to suspend $500 million gold royalty fund’s London listing

The Ghanaian government has pulled back the $500 million listing of its gold royalty fund Agyapa Royalties in London, as concerns mount over transparency and accountability.

The main opposition party, National Democratic Congress, has raised fears that the funds would be misappropriated while questioning the listing process.

Other civil society groups and independent economists have also called for accountability.

The Finance Ministry reacted to these concerns by offering to delay the Initial Public Offering (IPO). In a letter to the special prosecutor dated October 1, deputy finance ministry Charles Adu Boahen said, “It would be detrimental to proceed without receiving approvals the green light from your office.

“Therefore, we will delay the IPO until all concerns raised have been cleared.”

Agyapa Royalties is a government-backed fund that holds equity interests including mining royalties in the Ghanaian state’s gold assets. The Fund had hired banks to list on the London Stock Exchange in mid-September.

Ghana, Africa’s third largest gold producer, is seeking to take advantage of a rise in global gold prices to raise between $400 million and $500 million from the IPO.

The opposition National Democratic Congress has however demanded an independent prove into the valuation of the firm’s royalty rights. It has also questioned its proposed registration in jersey, an offshore British tax haven.

Ghana’s government is set to be more reliant on mineral exports in 2020/21 financial year as the coronavirus pandemic has slowed other key sectors of the economy.

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