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S&P revises outlook on Ghana to positive

S&P Global Ratings on Oct. 6 revised the outlook on Ghana to positive from stable, on expectations that Ghana's new administration would implement measures that would help strengthen public finances from their "very weak level."

The rating agency also expects Ghana's economic growth will accelerate with increased oil production and corrective fiscal measures.

Ghana's real GDP growth is expected to average 6.4% in 2017-2020.

Ghana's new administration "appears keen to establish a firm fiscal consolidation path while embarking on an ambitious economic reform program, which together could reduce key rating weaknesses," said the report.

The government plans to establish a structured bond program, worth about 6% of GDP, to help restructure overdue energy sector debts. The government also plans to introduce a legally binding cap on fiscal deficits, at 5% of GDP, subject to parliamentary approval.

Ghana's public finances remain weak. Interest payments account for more than 30% of government revenues. The government's debt burden is expected to increase to 74% of GDP by the end of 2017 from 38% of GDP in 2010 due to high fiscal deficits and election-related overspending, the rating agency said.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.