Govt extends Domestic Debt Exchange deadline to build consensus

The government has extended the deadline for the Debt Exchange Programme to Tuesday, January 31, to enable it build consensus for the programme.

The Ministry of Finance in a tweet yesterday said building consensus was key to a successful economic recovery for Ghana.

Also, the ministry in a press statement said “the government has structured the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme as a vol­untary exercise in order to shield domestic bondholders. We will, however, use this period to further engage with stakeholders, espe­cially individual bondholders, to mitigate any adverse impacts; while we all contribute to overcoming our economic challenges”.

It said important discussions were ongoing with financial institutions, notably in relation to forbearance measures, accounting treatment, as well as the structure and parameters of the Ghana Financial Stability Fund (GFSF).

Following the first announce­ment of the Domestic Debt Ex­change Programme on December 5, 2022, the government entered into advanced discussions with multiple stakeholders.

These discussions resulted in the amendment of the terms of the offer, which was announced on December 24, 2022, to expire on January 16, 2023.

“A successful Domestic Debt Exchange is critical to advance our economic recovery process, and therefore it is in our common interest to make it work,” the state­ment said.

In the government’s quest to address the country’s ongoing economic challenges, it launched the programme to invite holders of bonds to voluntarily exchange approximately GH¢137 billion domestic notes and bonds of the Republic, including ESLA and Daakye, for a package of new bonds

The domestic debt exchange programme since its announce­ment has faced huge opposi­tion from labour groups which managed to get pension funds exempted.

Other groups, including the Individual Bondholders Asso­ciation, have also rejected the programme.

Mr Senyo Hosi, former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors who is one of the leading con­veners of the Ghana Individual Bondholders’ Forum, said in an interview with Joy Fm yesterday in reaction to the extension of the deadline that it was welcoming, but insisted that the group would push for the exemption of individual bondholders in the Debt Ex­change programme.

The group, he said, was ready to engage the government, saying “It’s a good move. At least there’s room for engagement. But the issues are pretty clear. We have not just come to the table just saying ‘no’. We have actually proposed alternatives that are viable for government”.

“Government must look with­in. Because we as individuals and the general citizenry have taken a big share of the pie. We have been at the receiving end of the raw deal of governance every single time. “We’re open to meet and we look forward to that,” he said.


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