The groups of Individual bondholders kicking against their inclusion in the government’s domestic debt exchange are optimistic of a total exemption from the programme under revised terms yet to be announced by the government.
For them, including them will destroy household confidence in Ghana’s financial system and securities market.
On the Point of View on Citi TV, one of the conveners of the group and legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu said: “Sometimes we all get it wrong. Maybe the finance minister initially thought it could woo individual bondholders on board, but it didn’t turn out well. There is nothing wrong because it’s one nation. It’s been confirmed that government will honour its obligations under the existing bonds thus practically exempting us.”
The deadline for the Domestic Debt Exchange (DDE) Program expires today, Tuesday, January 31, 2023, after several extensions.
Stakeholders are looking forward to the government’s next move given the agreements it recently reached with groups of individual bondholders and players in the banking and insurance industry.
The Vice President, in charge of research at IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, Bright Simons, has even said, the Ministry of Finance is lacking the support of even Cabinet in its decision to include individual bondholders in the Debt Exchange Programme.
“What we are holding now in all probability is much better than what the Minister wants to offer. If the Minister is able to offer something better than what we are holding, then we wouldn’t be doing a debt exchange program. From what I have gathered, people are not interested in any new bonds, they want to hold on to what they currently have”, Martin Kpebu further expressed.
The individual bondholders during discussions with the committee set up by the government to resolve issues on the debt exchange programme stated that with the set target of 80% of eligible bonds, Individual Bondholders are not a critical success factor to the viability of the DDE programme, yet the impact of their inclusion has incalculable consequences.
As part of recommendations to the Technical Committee, they recommended that the government divest loss-making, defunct and troubled 17 State–own enterprises.
The Individual bondholders also suggested that the government review the Free SHS Programme to make it more efficient through effective targeting and allowing parents who can pay to do so.
The group stated that divesting the non-performing SOEs and reviewing free SHS alone will provide the government with GHS 2 billion.
It also urged the government to maintain the 2022 capital expenditure level by reducing the non–ABFA MDA and foreign finance Capex provisions by 50% which they claim will provide the 10.7 billion Ghana Cedis.