Ghana Central Bank Says Options Waning as Debt Hits Four-Year High
Ghana is running out of fiscal space as its debt-to-GDP ratio reached 71% by Sept. 30, the highest in nearly four years, following early attempts to cushion the population from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, its central bank said Monday.
The ratio grew to its highest since Nov. 2016, as the state subsidized electricity and power bills, while also providing loans to small businesses, Governor Ernest Addison told journalists after a policy rate announcement in Accra, the capital.
“The important point is whether the government will have enough fiscal space to continue providing support in 2021,” Addison said. “We are approaching the limit of what the government can do without trying to mobilize domestic resources.”
The pandemic response deepened the debt woes of Africa’s top gold producer. President Nana Akufo-Addo’s administration had already spent almost 23 billion cedis ($4 billion) on a financial sector cleanup since 2017, while also starting to address energy sector debt of more than 10 billion cedis. After reporting its first cases of the virus in March, the West African nation responded to the health crisis with more than 3 billion cedis in unplanned spending.
The government is planning to raise $5 billion on international capital markets to support its spending plan for next year. The budget deficit is set to decline to 8.3% of GDP in 2021, from an expected 11.4% gap by the end of this year.
Macy’s Joins 15% Pledge to Carry More Black-Owned Brands
Macy’s Inc. plans to devote 15% of its shelf space to Black-owned brands, becoming one of the most prominent names to join the nascent movement for racial equity in the retail world.
The department-store chain follows retailers such asWest Elm and Sephora signing onto the 15 Percent Pledge, a grassroots effort to increase representation of Black-owned brands in stores across the country. Along with the Macy’s announcement Monday, InStyle US said it would devote 15% of its magazine coverage to Black-owned businesses and increase diversity in the models and celebrities featured in its pages.
The plan adds to a renewed push across Corporate America to address systemic racism following the police killing of George Floyd in May and subsequent protests. The 15 Percent Pledge organization, whose name refers to the percentage of Black people in the U.S. population, was launched in May to encourage large companies to devote that much of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses.
CANADA STOCKS-TSX open higher as energy gains on vaccine progress
Nov 23 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index open higher on Monday, led by energy shares, as signs of progress in developing a coronavirus vaccine bolstered hopes of economic revival and pushed up oil prices.
* At 9:30 a.m. ET (14:30 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 48.15 points, or 0.28%, at 17,067.25.
Biden May Name Anthony Blinken As Secretary Of State
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate his experienced adviser Antony Blinken as Secretary of State, US media reported quoting people familiar with the matter.
Blinken, who served at the state department and as deputy national security adviser in Barack Obama’s administration, has been the foreign policy advisor to Biden’s presidential campaign.
Biden’s White House chief of staff nominee Ron Klain said Biden will announce key posts in his Cabinet Tuesday.
It has also been reported that Jake Sullivan, who was one of Hillary Clinton’s closest aides, is the likely pick for national security adviser.
Reports also say that Linda Thomas-Greenfield will be named the United States’ new ambassador to the United Nations.
Meanwhile, a judge in Pennsylvania refused President Donald Trump’s request to invalidate millions of postal votes cast in the state. Many Republicans called on Trump to concede defeat.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is a close Trump ally, said on ABC News’ “This Week,” that Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is a “national embarrassment.”
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan told CNN that Trump camp’s attempts to annul the election results were “beginning to look like we’re a banana republic”. Trump should “stop golfing and concede,” he said on Twitter.
Lincoln Project Warns That Republicans In Trump’s Shadow Are More Dangerous
You think lame duck President Donald Trump is bad? The Lincoln Project says in a new ad that Republicans standing behind him are perhaps even more dangerous. (Watch it below.)
In a video posted Sunday by the never-Trump group of conservatives, a narrator declares that it is time “to remove the word ‘republic’ from the Republican Party.”
“These hypocrites in office don’t care about a republic. They don’t care about our democracy or the constitution they swore on a bible to protect,” the video continues as images of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), Tom Cotton (Arkansas), Marco Rubio (Florida), Ted Cruz (Texas) and other Trump apologists flash onto the screen. “They are treasonous, unpatriotic, downright despotic.”
Trump, who’s forging ahead in a baseless campaign to delegitimize his election defeat to Joe Biden, is dismissed as “feckless, pathetic and unmoored,” but “there are others waiting in the wings, waiting for their turn to dismantle our democracy. And they are not so vacuous and insecure and self-absorbed.”
Stock Alert: GreenPower Motor Hits New 52-week High
Shares of GreenPower Motor Company Inc. (GP), a Canada-based manufacturer of electric vehicles, are rising almost 25 percent or $5.50 in Monday’s morning trade at $27.54 after touching a new 52-week high of $28.27.
U.S. stocks are rising on Monday as investors react to additional upbeat news regarding a potential coronavirus vaccine. AstraZeneca (AZN) announced that its vaccine candidate being developed in collaboration with Oxford University had an average efficacy of 70 percent.
The electric vehicle or EV sector is seeing renewed interest from investors. Ideanomics Inc. (IDEX) has increased its stake in California-based electric tractor maker Solectrac Inc. to 24 percent.
GreenPower said Thursday it has granted an aggregate of 300,000 incentive stock options with 100,000 stock options to each of Brendan Riley, Michael Sieffert and Fraser Atkinson. The stock options are subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange and are exercisable for a period of five years at a price of $20 per share.
GreenPower has traded in a range of $8.22 to $28.27 in the past 52 weeks.