The payment of the coupons and principals of bondholders who did not partake in the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDE) will begin on March 13, 2023, the Finance Ministry has announced.
A statement issued by the Finance Ministry on the DDEP and copied to the Ghanaian Times said the Ministry had begun the administrative process to ensure the bondholders who did not take part in the DDEP were paid on the said date.
It said the newly issued bonds had been settled and listed, and would become the new benchmark bonds for the fixed income market.
The statement said trading of the new bonds followed the successful settlement and conclusion of Ghana’s DDEP.
The statement said the Ministry of Finance would work with relevant stakeholders, as agreed, to ensure that “these new benchmark securities become the basis for deepening the domestic sovereign bond market”.
The government last year began a DDEP following the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s programme to restore and bring the country’s debt portfolio to sustainable levels to ensure macroeconomic stability.
The programme, which commences this year to 2037, would see the government exchange existing domestic bonds for a set of new ones maturing in 2023, 2027, 2029, and 2037.
Government is seeking to restructure its total public debts, which sit at more than GH¢ 575 billion. For the domestic debt, government is seeking to restructure about GH¢ 137 billion.
The Ministry of Finance said S&P Global Ratings on Friday, February 24, 2023, raised Ghana’s local currency sovereign credit ratings from selective default (SD) to ‘CCC+/C’.
“This acknowledges the completion of the DDEP with a successful delivery of new securities to bondholders. In doing so, the selective default is substantially cured,” it said, adding that, “The above stated milestone is further expected to accelerate the engagement with our external creditors”.
The Ministry of Finance said the Government of Ghana was engaging its external creditors in view of their importance to the Republic of Ghana.
“We will, therefore, continue to work together to advance the progress of our external debt treatment in order to ensure Ghana’s long-term macroeconomic stability,” the statement said.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE