Individual bondholder groups welcome formation of debt exchange Committee by finance ministry

Individual bondholder groups have welcomed the decision by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to set up a technical committee to look into the concerns raised against the controversial Domestic Debt Exchange Programme.

The Finance Minister during an engagement on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, with some front-line members of the individual bondholder groups in Accra, assured to set up the committee.

The groups and other institutions have vehemently kicked against the inclusion of individual bondholders in the programme.

The groups in the past weeks have argued that the programme will have dire consequences on the individuals if it kicks off.

The Convener of the Individual Bondholders’ Forum, Senyo Hosi, said they are willing to work with Mr. Ofori-Atta to solve the problem surrounding the programme.

He remarked that the Finance Minister has been very cooperative in the interactions they have had with him.

“His initial approach to engaging individual bondholders was super dramatic. We are here together right now to work together to solve the problem for mother Ghana. That cooperation is great. He [Finance Minister] has been very reasonable and very cooperative I must say, so we will take it from there, it’s a friendly affair. Whatever it is, the only thing is to alleviate this impending pain for the average Ghanaian. This matter has become an eye-red matter,” Mr. Senyo said.

He said the implications will be catastrophic if the Debt Exchange is extended to individuals.

“The implications will be catastrophic if you extend it to the individuals,” he pointed out.

Government in December 2022, hinted that individual bondholders who were previously exempted from the Debt Exchange programme will be included, extending the deadline for registration to January 16, 2023.

The government later extended the deadline for bondholders to voluntarily exchange their bonds for new ones for the third time.

It is currently unclear how many institutions or individuals have signed onto the programme which has been rejected by several groups.

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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 program 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.




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