Gov’t commences payment on outstanding bonds

The government has commenced coupon and principal payments on old bonds, the Ministry of Finance has said.

“Following the press release issued by the Ministry of Finance dated 27th February, 2023, government is pleased to announce that processes to settle payments on outstanding bonds commenced yesterday, 13th March, 2023,” the ministry said in a statement.

The initial instruction covers coupon and principal payments on bonds that matured on 6th February, 2023, and 13th February, 2023. Holders of the afore-listed bonds should therefore expect to receive their payments within the next 48 hours.

Payment dates for subsequent maturities will be communicated in due course as processing continues, it added.

“The Ministry of Finance takes this opportunity to thank all stakeholders for their forbearance during the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) and subsequent administrative processes,” it further said.

Earlier the Coalition of Individual Bondholder Groups had accused the Ministry of Finance of failing to honour its promise to pay coupons and principals on old bonds – creditors that did not participate in the voluntary Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) – despite multiple assurances, including a written press release confirming the resumption of payments on March 13, 2023 reports Joshua Worlasi AMLANU & Ebenezer Chike Adjei NJOKU

In a strongly-worded statement, the coalition – made up of the Ghana Bondholders’ Forum and the Individual Bondholders’ Association of Ghana – accused the ministry of continuing to flout established regulations meant to safeguard markets’ integrity and the nation’s sovereign credibility. They also lamented that the situation has left individual bondholders in a precarious position.

“At the close of business on March 13, 2023, the Ministry of Finance, led by Ken Ofori-Atta, disregarded all the basic rules that have been established to protect the integrity of the local markets and maintain sovereign credibility for Ghana. It is most unfortunate that the ministry continues to have absolute disregard for its creditors, in this case, Individual bondholders, despite prior meetings held in which we stated the need for communication,” a portion of the statement read.

Consequently, the Coalition – in the statement signed by Dr. Joel Djangma Akwetey and Senyo K. Hosi, conveners of the respective groups – issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the ministry and related stakeholders to address their concerns.

“We are giving a 48-hour ultimatum to the Ministry of Finance to honour its word to pay all matured principals and outstanding coupons due on the existing bonds issued by the Government of Ghana,” it warned.