Speculators who publish falsehoods about the Ghana Cedi will be arrested
President Akufo-Addo said during his address to the nation on Sunday, that persons who publish falsehoods about the Ghana Cedi leading to it’s drastic drop in value will not be tolerated.
Security agencies are to uncover money speculators who cause panic in the financial sector and they will be dealt with legally.
Also unregulated activities of black market operators is partly responsible for the depreciation of the cedi against major trading currencies.
President Akufo-Addo said the Bank of Ghana and the security agencies will continue to clampdown on such illegal activities.
“Fellow Ghanaians, as the French would say, l’argent n’aime pas le bruit, to wit, money does not like noise, sika mpɛ dede. Where there is chaos, where there is noise, where there is unrest, you will not find money. If you talk down your money, it will go down. If you allow some unidentifiable person to talk down your money, it will go down.
“The recent turbulence on the financial markets was caused by low inflows of foreign exchange, and was made worse in the last two to three weeks, in particular, by the activities of speculators and the Black Market. An anonymous two-minute audio message on a WhatsApp platform predicting a so-called haircut on Government bonds sent all of us into banks and forex bureaus to dump our cedis, and, before we knew it, the cedi had depreciated further. All of us can play a part in helping to strengthen the cedi by having confidence in the currency, and avoiding speculation. Let us keep our cedi as the good store of value it is. To those who make it a habit of publishing falsehoods, which result in panic in the system, I say to them that the relevant state agencies will act against such persons.
“Indeed, some steps have been taken to restore order in the forex markets and we are already beginning to see some calm returning. We will not relent until order is completely restored. The following actions have been taken thus far:
“1) enhanced supervisory action by the Bank of Ghana in the forex bureau markets and the black market to flush out illegal operators, as well as ensuring that those permitted to operate legally abide by the market rules. Already some forex bureaus have had their licenses revoked, and this exercise will continue until complete order is restored in the sector;
“2) Fresh inflows of dollars are providing liquidity to the foreign exchange market, and addressing the pipeline demand;
“3) the Bank of Ghana has given its full commitment to the commercial banks to provide liquidity to ensure the wheels of the economy continue to run in a stabilized manner, till the IMF Programme kicks in and the financing assurances expected from other partners also come in;
“4) Government is working with the Bank of Ghana and the oil producing and mining companies to introduce a new legal and regulatory framework to ensure that all foreign exchange earned from operations in Ghana are, initially, paid to banks domiciled in Ghana to help boost the domestic foreign exchange market; and
“5) the Bank of Ghana will enhance its gold purchase programme. I am confident that these immediate measures designed to change the structure of our balance of payment flows, sanitise the foreign exchange market to ensure that the banks and forex bureaus operate along international best practices, together with strengthened supervision, will go a long way to sanitize our foreign exchange market, and make it more resilient against external vulnerabilities going forward.”
Stressing the need to remove activities of black market operators, President Akufo-Addo pointed out that players in that market deliberately engage in speculative activities to cause instability in the exchange rate market.
This, according to the President is engineered to allow the illegal operators benefit from the fall of the cedi against major trading currencies like the dollar.
By Vincent Kubi
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