Government extends expiry date for enrollment onto Debt Exchange Programme to Dec. 30

The government of Ghana has extended the deadline for enrolling in the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme until December 30, 2022.

The Minister of Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, announced on Monday while giving updates on the state of the economy.

Explaining what prompted the government’s decision, Mr Ofori-Atta said that the extension is to allow for major concerns highlighted by stakeholders to be accommodated in some manner.

“Following the stakeholder engagement, government has agreed to extend the expiration date for the domestic debt exchange programme to 30th December 2022,” he announced.

Mr, Ofori-Atta said the commencement of the debt exchange programme, along with the signature of the staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has greatly helped the cedi’s stabilisation.

The initial deadline for bondholder participation in the scheme was December 19.

However, the Ghana Chamber of Corporate Trustees asked for a one-month extension of the December 19 deadline for the debt swap initiative.

They claim that the extension is required because discussions with parties who would be affected by the debt restructuring are still ongoing.

They also noted in a statement that “certain key adjustments to the debt-restructuring proposal will be required in order to secure the interests of our contributors.”

It would be noted the government on December 5, 2022, announced a debt restructuring measure.

The goal, according to Ken Ofori-Atta, is “to invite holders of domestic debt to voluntarily exchange approximately GH¢137 billion of the domestic notes and bonds of the Republic, including E.S.L.A. and Daakye bonds, for a package of New Bonds to be issued by the Republic.”

Bondholders such as pension funds, banks, and insurance companies will have to exchange their bonds for zero-interest bonds next year.

The new bonds will only begin earning 5% interest in 2024 and 10% for the balance of their term. The maturity dates have also been pushed back, with the first bonds due to mature in 2027.

Bondholders are anticipated to exchange their existing bonds for four new bonds expiring in 2027, 2029, 2032, and 2037, all in an effort to restore the country’s ability to service its debt.

The debt exchange programme has been utterly rejected by organisations, like the Trade Union Congress, the Ghana Medical Association, and the Chamber of Corporate Trustees of Ghana.

 

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