* IMF team expected in Ghana next month to initiate program
* Ghana says seeking to win endorsement for its own reform
* Ghana to issue third Eurobond of up to $1.5 bln this month
(Adds quotes, background)
By Kwasi Kpodo
ACCRA, Aug 9 The International Monetary Fund
(IMF) will help Ghana address its current economic challenges,
following a formal request by the West African country to open
talks for a support program, a director of the fund said late on
Ghanaian President John Mahama last week ordered his
government to open talks with the IMF as part of efforts to fix
the economy and stabilise the cedi currency which has
slumped around 40 percent this year.
Deputy Managing Director Min Zhu said an IMF team would be in
Ghana early next month to open talks.
"Today, IMF Management received a formal request from the
Ghanaian authorities to initiate discussions on an economic
program that could be supported by the IMF. The Fund stands
ready to help Ghana address the current economic challenges it
is facing," he said in a statement.
Ghana, which became the first sub-Saharan African country
outside South Africa to tap the Eurobond market in 2007, is
struggling to tame large budget and current account deficits,
turning investor sentiment against the onetime frontier market
With Ghana looking to issue a new $1.5 billion Eurobond
toward the end of this month, some bond market participants said
the backing of an IMF programme would be necessary to reassure
investors over the stability of the currency.
Foreign Minister Hannah Tetteh told Reuters on Friday the
government was seeking talks with the Fund to win endorsement
for its own fiscal reforms program rather than because it needs
(Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by David Gregorio and Lisa