Dr. Joel Djangma Akwetey
The Coalition of Individual Bondholder Groups; made up of the Ghana Individual Bond Holders’ Forum and the Individual Bond Holder Association of Ghana, is demanding the payment of all matured principal and outstanding coupons due on the existing bonds issued by the Government of Ghana.
The Coalition has thus given the Ministry of Finance 48-hours to make the payment.
“We are giving a 48-hour ultimatum to the Ministry of Finance to honour its word to pay all matured principal and outstanding coupons due on the existing bonds issued by the Government of Ghana,” the Coalition said in a statement.
This follows the expiration of the deadline by the government to honour its debt obligation.
The statement signed by the conveners, Dr. Joel Djangma Akwetey and Senyo Hosi, called on the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Ghana Stock Exchange to enforce the rules of full disclosure required by all issuers including the Government of Ghana.
It pledged to fight to ensure the full payment of investors’ monies and the preservation of the securities markets for the future generation.
The Finance Ministry in February promised to pay all bondholders who opted out of the Voluntary Domestic Debt Exchange programme their coupons and principals March 13, 2023, but that has not been the case.
Finance Minister’s posture
The coalition described as unfortunate, the disregard by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, of all the basic rules that have been established to protect the integrity of the local markets and maintain sovereign credibility for Ghana.
“At the close of business on March 13, 2023, the Ministry of Finance, led by Ken Ofori-Atta, has 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.”
“The coupon and principal payments due to Individual Bondholders who opted out of the Voluntary Domestic Debt Exchange programme have not been paid, despite written press releases confirming the resumption of payments on March 13, 2023, it added.
It also expressed worry about the loud silence of the SEC – charged with the mandate to protect investors and market integrity.
“The umbrella regulator of the Securities markets – Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ghana – charged with a mandate to protect investors and market integrity have also maintained a loud silence throughout this period on the plight of Individual Bondholders. The Ghana Fixed Income Market of the Ghana Stock Exchange, where the old Government of Ghana bonds are listed and traded have also not enforced its basic rules of disclosure required by issuers.”
Furthermore, it warned of the fading away of the little confidence remaining in the market.
“The little confidence remaining in the markets as a result of assurances from the Ministry of Finance is fading away under the full watch of the very institutions set up to protect”.
It promised to fight till payments are done.
“Individual Bondholders, as was the case in the aftermath of the DDEP announcement, have been left to fight for themselves as the Government creates a full default on its obligations. Fight we will”.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri