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Ghana Rated B1 in New Coverage at Moody’s as Bond Sales Looms

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Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Ghana was rated B1 by Moody’s Investors Service, four levels below investment grade, as the rating company initiated coverage of the African country that plans to sell bonds abroad next year.

“Ghana’s robust growth prospects” underpin the rating, Edward Al-Hussainy, a New York-based analyst at Moody’s, wrote in a report issued today. The West African nation’s economy, the second-biggest in the region, will grow 8.2 percent this year and 7.8 percent in 2013, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Moody’s B1 rating puts Ghana in line with Zambia, Kenya and Lebanon. The country was already rated an equivalent B+ by Fitch Ratings and one step lower, at B, by Standard & Poor’s.

Ghana, which issued the first Eurobonds in sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa in 2007, may sell a further $750 million, Deputy Finance Minister Seth Terkper said by phone from Accra Dec. 13.

To contact the reporter on this story: Veronica Navarro Espinosa in New York at vespinosa@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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