Ghana Again Extends Deadline for Domestic Debt Exchange Registration

Accra: Ghana has extended the registration deadline for its domestic debt exchange to January 16 to secure internal approval from the financial sector, the finance ministry said in a statement late on Saturday.

The ministry also announced changes to debt swaps, with eight additional instruments to be created. Ghana’s government, in a bid to relieve an economic crisis, has negotiated a staff-level agreement for a $3 billion loan package from the International Monetary Fund. The IMF has said that its board will approve the deal only if Ghana goes through comprehensive debt restructuring.

Ghana declared a domestic debt exchange program earlier this month and said that external restructuring was being negotiated with creditors. The ministry had previously extended the registration deadline for the domestic debt exchange to Dec. 30, from Dec. 19 initially.

“This extension affords the government … the opportunity to consider suggestions made by all stakeholders to adjust certain measures,” the Finance Ministry said in its Saturday statement, echoing the language of the first extension announcement.

Under the original plan, local bonds were to be exchanged for new ones maturing in 2027, 2029, 2032, and 2037, with annual coupons set at 0% in 2023, 5% in 2024, and 10% from 2025 until maturity. In Saturday’s statement, however, the Finance Ministry said that eight additional instruments would be created, bringing the total number of new bonds to 12, with one maturing each year from 2027 to 2038.

It was not made clear what coupon values the new bonds would hold. Saturday’s announcement also said that individual bondholders would now be invited to participate in the program, despite the initial exemption.

The government exempted pension funds from the program on Thursday, after widespread condemnation of their inclusion by labor and advocacy groups. The finance ministry on Saturday said it expected to reach a domestic debt restructuring solution by January 31.

By Archana

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