Ken Ofori Atta, Minister of Finance
Ken Ofori Atta, Minister of Finance

Jitters as debt swap programme enters dying minutes

Some holders of Ghana’s cedi bonds are reluctantly subscribing to the government’s domestic debt exchange programme (DDEP) as the offer entered its dying hours Tuesday.

Sources in government told Graphic Online Tuesday afternoon that interest had picked up quite well among institutional investors although the pace of subscription was still below expectation.


For individual holders of the otherwise risk-free government paper, one source said: “I think there are still some difficulties here and there.”

In spite of that the sources said it was obvious that the government would meet its target and would, therefore, not extend the offer, which ends on February 7.

The sources, which are coordinating the process, have not been authorised to speak on the matter.

“Some are signing on and we are hoping that by close to day, Tuesday, we will see significant participation,” one said said.

“I think we are counting on God to see us through but as for this time round, we will not extend the deadline,” another said.

In the offer launched December last year, the government wants investors in its cedi debts to swap their existing holdings for new ones that have a maximum maturity of five years instead.

The offer is optional, the government said in a January 31 release that announced the extension of the programme for the fourth time in a row.

That release also revised the terms of the debt swap in response to protests and resistance from business associations and individual bondholders that have constituted themselves into groups.

The debt swap is needed to make the country’s debt sustainable, which is a prerequisite to sealing a US$3 billion bailout programme from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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