Rating agencies did not take into account the government’s call – Ministry of Finance

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The director of the finance ministry’s financial sector division said the ratings agencies had not heeded the government’s call on their report on the economy’s solvency.

According Akligoh Sampson, the government had committed the agencies on some inaccuracies in their data collection process before the publication of the report, however, it appears that agencies have not taken them into account.

He said that is why the government expresses strong feelings against the downgrades; to tell their side of the story to investors in the international market.

“We also have to give our side of the story. So we presented, for example, maybe they’re saying if you look at maybe our debt trajectory, in the next three years the country’s debt to GDP ratio will be this, we we also have our debt sustainability analysis, we have our policy intent, that’s very clear, and we don’t agree with the assumptions behind their solvency.

“It is important that because you are in the market we also have to give our side of the story, because as sovereigns our job is to make sure that we also defend our [credit worthiness]“, he explained on PM Express of JoyNews.

Sampson Akligoh noted that it is normal for a government to disagree with the work of a rating agency, however, the rating agency cannot be compelled to change its ratings.

He added that to call such a rating does not guarantee that the rating change or degradation will be canceled.

He said that was why the government was presenting its side of the story to the investment community for them to make an informed decision.

“We can disagree, and when we disagree, we make our point of view known and our position is that the assumptions underlying a lot of the forecast, honestly, from our point of view, don’t are not accurate,” he said.

In the meantime, he says the government has no plans to unsubscribe from Moody’s credit rating.

“Don’t see it in terms of the government disagreeing with Moody’s to the extent that we want to get rid of Moody’s.

“Any analytical work of this nature will get to a point where two people – because you will remember that the Ghanaian institutions, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank also have experts. In the Ministry of Finance you have a division of debt management, there’s also credit…you know, the credit people in the finance department, we even have rating advisors.

“So it’s not to say that Moody’s did something that you should totally avoid, but it’s important that we clarify our point of disagreement with Moody’s,” he explained.

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