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Your rejection of debt exchange programme will spell doom for Ghana – Gabby to individual bondholders

Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a leading member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has disclosed that there will be doom should the domestic debt exchange programme be rejected.

NPP stalwart, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko

He said the economy will not be able to recover if the individual bondholders desist from subscribing to the programme.

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In a series of tweets Sunday evening, 15 January 2023, Mr Okyere-Darko explained that even though the terms of the debt exchange programme will affect individual bondholders, it is a necessary step which must be taken to salvage the economy.

“Ghana is in a very difficult place. What we are seeing with the mobilisation of agitation on individual bondholders poses a real and serious risk worse than what we witnessed when opposition to E-Levy succeeded in derailing an already shaky macroeconomic situation from 2021", he wrote on Twitter.

“The debt exchange programme is voluntary for individual bondholders but a very necessary evil for our economy. Its success is critical to restoring macroeconomic stability, securing an IMF prog. It hits those of us holding bonds very hard. A straight no to it is no solution!”

“If the no-compromise opposition to it wins, what then has been achieved? It may lead to national debt default. So what then happens to the value of your bonds after! Potentially worthless. If participation is low, we jeopardize resolving the economic crisis and hardships.”

“I'm sorry but we have to face the hard/painful truths. We ain't sitting pretty. Our focus must be on how the burden to individual bondholders may be possibly eased; but not to take the hardline position of simply saying no to participation. It will come back to hit us harder!”

“At least, let's see, possibly, all pensioners, not just institutional investors, individual pensioners who are bondholders fully isolated from this exchange prog. I said earlier, whatever can be done to ease the burden on individual bondholders in this exchange prog must be done.”

In a bid to rescue the economy and secure a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), government has proposed that all bondholders will not receive any interests on their bonds for the 2023 financial year.

The payment of dividends, according to government is likely to begin next year, 2024 at a discounted rate of five per cent.

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