ACCRA, Oct 6 (Reuters)Ghana has suspended the $500 million listing of its gold royalty fund Agyapa Royalties in London following concerns raised by the main opposition party about transparency and governance, a finance ministry letter reviewed by Reuters showed.

In an Oct. 1 letter to the special prosecutor, deputy finance ministry Charles Abu Boahen said the government would delay the Initial Public Offering (IPO), following criticism by the opposition National Democratic Congress opposition party.

“It would be detrimental to proceed without receiving approvals the green light from your office,” Boahen wrote.

A finance ministry spokesman declined to comment immediately.

Agyapa Royalties, a government-backed fund that holds equity interests including mining royalties in the state’s gold assets, had hired banks to list on the London Stock Exchange, sources said on Sept. 21.

Ghana wants to take advantage of the precious metal’s strong performance this year to raise $400 million-$500 million from the IPO.

Last week the opposition National Democratic Congress called for an independent probe into the valuation of the company’s royalty rights and has questioned its proposed registration in Jersey, an offshore British tax haven.

In response the government said it was not seeking secrecy would comply with international corporate governance standards.

If it goes ahead, the listing would benefit from a surge in gold prices as the COVID-19 pandemic pushed investors into safe-haven investments.

(Reporting by Christian Akorlie; Writing by Hereward Holland Editing by Bate Felix and Louise Heavens)

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