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DDEP: Domestic creditors must have united front, says Bokpin

Godfred Bokpin

Prof Godfred Bokpin, an economist with the University of Ghana Business School has suggested to domestic creditors to form a single committee in negotiating with the government on the domestic exchange programme.

Bokpin believes negotiating with the government with a united front will expedite the expected results while strengthening their base.

Speaking at a public forum on Ghana’s debt exchange programme organised by the Economic Governance Platform in Accra, Bokpin said: “Domestic creditors should form one committee and be able to negotiate from a position of strength.”

“In the case of Jamaica, their strengthened position led to fiscal reforms, even including fiscal responsibility act, they had to even amend the constitution, because they made certain demands.

“Structural reforms are more effective when they are bundled together, so while we look at physical reforms we do same at the structural level so that they complement each other,” Bokpin said.

Listen to Prof Godfred Bokpin in the attached audio clip attached below:

https://www.asaaseradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Bokpin-last-4.mp3?_=1

DDEP modifications

On Saturday 21 December 2022, the government modified its GHC137.3 billion domestic bond exchange programme to include individuals. The debt exchange programme is among efforts the government is making to restructure the national debt.

The government took the decision to restructure domestic debt step to secure approval from the management and executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a US$3 billion loan-support programme to address Ghana’s economic crisis.

A press release issued by the Ministry of Finance said that, in addition to extensions previously set out, the government was “expanding the type of investors that can participate in the exchange to now include individual investors”.

Other modifications to the debt exchange programme include the setting of a non-binding target minimum level of overall participation of 80% of aggregate principal amount outstanding of eligible bonds.

The ministry also said it is “offering accrued and unpaid interest on eligible bonds, and a cash tender fee payment to holders of eligible bonds maturing in 2023”.

There would also be eight new instruments to the composition of the new bonds, making a total of 12 new bonds, one maturing each year starting January 2027 and ending January 2038.

The ministry said the modifications would be set out in full detail in an Amended and restated exchange memorandum, expected to be published in the week of 26 December 2022.

“Conforming changes (including adding and modifying defined terms) in respect of the above amendments and modifications to cure ambiguity, omission, defect, error or inconsistency may be included in the Amended and Restated Exchange Memorandum.” the ministry said.

The government has further extended the deadline for voluntary participation in the debt exchange programme to 31 January 2023 from 16 January.

Fred Dzakpata

 

 

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