Ghana government extends Domestic Debt Exchange deadline again

The Ghana government has, for the fourth time, extended the Domestic Debt Exchange (DDE) programme to February 7, 2023, after revising the DDE with corporate stakeholders.

The DDE forms part of efforts by the government to assure the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of debt sustainability and gain creditors’ confidence in the Fund’s $3 billion loan-support programme.

The Finance Ministry, in a press release copied to the Ghana News Agency on Monday, announced the new date, indicating that “Ghana has made significant progress with all stakeholders.”

It said the government had reached new terms of an agreement on the programme with the Ghana Association of Banks (GAB), Ghana Insurers Association (GIA), and the Ghana Securities Industry Association (GSIA).

As such, there would be a “revised and final” Exchange Memorandum released by Thursday, February 2, 2023, which among others, would offer individual bondholders the opportunity to be part of the DDE despite the exemption.

“All bondholders are hereby encouraged to commence all administrative processes towards their participation in the Exchange, in line with the agreements reached,” the Government urged.

The Ministry stated that the new Exchange Memorandum contained an affirmation that all individual bondholders were free not to participate in the DDE.

“However, upon a successful DDE programme, there would be “very few of the ‘old bonds’ in circulation, and likely limit its trade-ability,” it said.

In this direction, all individual bondholders below 59 years, are being offered instruments with a maximum maturity of 5 years, instead of 15 years, and a 10 per cent coupon rate.

Also, all retirees (including those retiring in 2023) would be offered instruments with a maximum maturity of 5 years, instead of 15 years, and a 15 per cent coupon rate.

The Ministry noted that it was finalising discussions with Organised Labour and Pension Fund Trustees, on a separate arrangement under the Memorandum of Understanding signed with Organised Labour on December 22, 2022, and in line with the government’s debt management programme.

“With this, government encourages all stakeholders to participate in the DDEP, an essential step towards meeting our debt sustainability targets and restoring macroeconomic stability and economic growth,” the statement noted.

The government through the release said it appreciated the cordial engagements with the various stakeholders since the beginning of the DDE programme that had led to such remarkable progress possible.

In December last year, the government reached a Staff Level Agreement with the IMF for the $3 billion three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF), and hopeful of an Executive and Board Management approval by the close of March 2023.

Source: GNA

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