Approximately GH¢83 billion of old cedi bonds have been swapped for new ones under the just-ended Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP), the Ministry of Finance announced, yesterday.
A statement issued to announce the results of the programme which ended on February 10, said the amount represented about 85 per cent of the outstanding principal amount of the bonds pegged at about GH¢97.7 billion.
To provide sufficient time to settle the new bonds in an efficient manner, the Ministry announced an extension of the settlement date of the DDEP from yesterday to next Tuesday.
However, it said the extension was only to process the settlement of the new bonds and not for new tenders.
“The issue date, interest accrual schedules and payment schedules for the New Bonds will be adjusted to reflect the actual Settlement Date. As the Exchange period has expired, no new tenders will be accepted, and no revocations or withdrawals are permitted,” the statement said.
It said the government was pleased with the results of the DDEP, as a substantial majority eligible holders tendered.
“This result is a significant achievement for the Government to implement fully, the economic strategies in the post-COVID-19 Programme for economic growth during this current economic crisis,” it said.
In addition to the deadline extension, since the Ministry had received expressions of interest from other stakeholders to participate in a similar exchange, the government was modifying the six-month “clear market” provision of the New Bonds as set forth in the Exchange Memorandum.
That, the statement said was to clarify that such clear market provision will not limit the Government from issuing Domestic Public Indebtedness in connection with liability management exercises involving exchanges or similar exercises that do not involve the issuance of Domestic Public Indebtedness for cash consideration.
“Except as set forth in this paragraph and the one before, the terms and conditions of the Exchange are not modified or amended,” the statement said.
It said the outstanding principal amounts presented in this statement differed from the Outstanding Principal Amounts in the Exchange Memorandum and have been adjusted.
It said it had been adjusted to deduct: (a) amounts of Eligible Bonds held by persons that are not Eligible Holders and that were not eligible to participate in the Exchange; and (b) amounts held by persons that following the announcement of the Exchange converted their Eligible Bonds to treasury bills.
Meanwhile, the government has assured individual bond holders who chose to self-exempt from the DDEP that their coupons and maturing principals would be paid.
According the Ministry, these obligations to this category of bond holders would be honoured in line with the government’s fiscal commitments just like all other government bonds.
A statement issued by the Ministry yesterday the Ministry said it had also taken note of all additional input made by various stakeholders during the DDEP engagement to further streamline Government’s expenditures.
“We wish to assure Ghanaians of our full commitment to addressing these issues”, it said and thanked those who signed up as well as those who advocated improved terms for the DDEP.
The statement reiterated that from the onset of the DDEP to its closure on the participation in the programme was voluntary, in an apparent response to calls for exemption by some individual bondholders.
The DDEP was announced on December 5 last year as part of measures to restructure the country’s debt to enable it get a three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) of about US$3 billion from the IMF.
This was after Ghana reached a staff-level agreement with the IMF for the arrangement, pending approval by IMF management and the Executive Board, subject to financing assurances from Ghana’s partners and creditors.
Ghana was targeting 80 per cent participation in the DDE which deadline was extended four times following agitation for exemption and improved terms by various groups of bond holders.
The government is hoping to get the IMF management and board approval by March this year.
BY TIMES REPORTER