Bondholders lack clarity to decide on debt exchange programme - Yamson
Corporate finance expert and Senior Partner at Ishmael Yamson and Associates, Michael Harry Yamson, has accused the government of misinforming bondholders on the terms and conditions for the new bonds arrangements.
According to him, the state’s proposed arrangements on new bonds and its accessibility was not clear enough and therefore, unacceptable.
Government has given a three-day window for bondholders to complete tender processes as part of the efforts to complete a domestic debt exchange programme.
The deadline for signing up for the programme expired last Tuesday, February 7, but the government, in a late-night press statement, said some of the bondholders faced “technical glitches as they tried to complete the online tender process,” hence the window to enable such persons to complete the process.
“As a result, government is providing bondholders with a window to complete processes for tendering their bonds, in response to the terms of exchange as amended pursuant to the 2nd Amended and Restated Exchange Memorandum. This window ends on Friday, 10th February 2023 at 4:00 p.m. (GMT),” the Finance Ministry announced in a statement signed by Ken Ofori-Atta.
However in an interview on an Accra based FM Station, Mr Yamson, who is the Chief Operating Officer for Ishmael Yamson and Associates, described as unfortunate how the government has failed to bring clarity on the new bonds.
“Members of Parliament rose to their feet and said ‘we don’t know what the Minister is doing,’ these are Members of Parliament. So if they don’t know, you don’t and I don’t know what we are walking into.
“The Minister and the government are telling us to wear a blind fold, we are not blind but we should wear a blind fold and just follow. That is not acceptable, it is just not acceptable. And in any case you issue an instrument and the worthiness of the instrument is based on the entity behind the instrument. Not the instrument itself per se,” Mr. Yamson who doubles as a member of Individual Bondholders stated.
He continued: “So the entity behind the new bond is one that allows all manner of loopholes. It is one that is unable to tame corruption. Why on earth will you want to enter into a new business with that entity and take its guarantees? And it gives you a legal promise that by the way if I should mess up you cannot take me on in any way. Will you do it?”