Trade Finance Magazine

Ghanaian MoH - ECA-backed project 

Barclays and UKEF team for Ghana health 


MLAs: Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, Citi

Borrower: Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning of Ghana 

Amount: $191.4 million ($162.9 million UKEF-covered export credit, $29 million uncovered local currency loan) 

Tenor: 12.5 years 

ECA: UK Export Finance 

Lawyers: Clifford Chance (international), Oxford & Beaumont (local) 

Exporters: NMS Infrastructure, Pell Frischmann, TP Bennett, Deacon & Jones 


This transaction was hailed as special for breaking a number of myths surrounding the financing of social development projects in Africa. Firstly, by taking eight months from mandate to close, it broke the myth that closing transactions in Africa takes years. Secondly by representing a transformational contract for a UK SME, it broke the myth that only large companies can do large export contracts. Thirdly, it broke the myth that it is difficult to close social development projects without having developmental agencies on board. 

The deal involved a group of international banks providing a UK Export Finance-backed export credit facility to finance a hospital development programme in Ghana - more specifically the design, construction and equipping of seven district hospitals in Ghana including the provision of a centralised pharmaceutical and medical supply management system. 

Barclays Bank is acting as coordinator, mandated lead arranger (MLA), bookrunner and issuing L/C bank on the deal. Citi and JPMorgan are acting as MLAs. The contract for the project was awarded to NMS Infrastructure, a UK SME, which is leading a consortium of both UK and Ghana based contractors including Pell Frischmann, TP Bennett and Deacon & Jones. The end buyer is Ghana's Ministry of Health. 

Signed in October 2012, the financing consists of a dual tranche facility comprised of a $162.9 million export credit facility, 100% covered by UK Export Finance (UKEF) and financed in 50% portions by JPMorgan and Citi; and a second tranche in local currency of GHc 55 million ($29 million) provided by Barclays Ghana. The 12.5 year financing agreement has been signed with Ghana's Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning. 

Ghana's Deputy Minister of Health, Mr. Robert Mettle-Nunoo, comments on the deal, "With the support of Barclays we have been able to achieve an affordable, flexible, timely and cost effective funding solution for the government of Ghana. The financing sets a new benchmark for the government of Ghana and establishes a new blueprint for future financing solutions between the government of Ghana, Barclays, NMS, and other UK exporters." 

Frederik Hsu, NMS's Deputy Chairman, adds: "We have been very impressed by the holistic approach of Barclays and UK Export Finance and their support for SME exporters in the current financial climate. Their support is a clear endorsement of our export growth strategy." 

hugo besley