We can’t scrap Domestic Debt Exchange programme – Ofori-Atta to bondholders

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It appears the government has no plans of ditching the Domestic Debt Exchange programme.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has insisted that there is no alternative.

This comes in the wake of agitations from individual bondholders demanding exclusion excluded from the government’s domestic debt exchange programme.

Ghana’s Individual Bondholders fear that the modality which is an important step in securing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout may bring untold economic hardship to the country and would potentially make their bonds worthless.

But the crucial nature of the situation, according to the Minister, presents the need to ensure a balance between keeping the nation afloat and ensuring the protection of the citizens’ livelihood.

Speaking on a yet-to-be-aired episode of PM Express Business Edition, Mr Ofori-Atta promised that his outfit will deal with some of the concerns of individual bondholders and pensioners.

He told George Wiafe that “we have a situation where our debt exchange is necessary… we have a situation where we have come out of certain formulations and we have gone ahead to discuss or the financial institutions that way to mitigate that. I think we’ve done that successfully.”

“In the same way we sat with the Union pensions, and I think we are making great progress in what we do for them. In the same way in which we are looking at individual bondholders to see how we can tweak this. Would we lose a bit of what we have? I think all of us are going to. But we have to make sure that what we eventually come up with will create a sustainability,” he explained.

He cited an example with the Zero Coupon for 2023. For the Minister, “that has to change.”

The individual bondholders argue that the programme is one of the harshest debt restructuring measures ever adopted and when allowed to be rolled out will impoverish its members.

It said members were also not consulted prior to the announcement of the policy.

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