The Ministry of Finance has assured that bondholders whose coupon and principal payments matured on the 6th February 2023, and 13th February, 2023 will receive their funds within the next 48 hours.
The assurance comes after bondholders complained of not receiving their payments on Monday, 13th March, 2023.
According to the Ministry of Finance, the processes to settle the payments on outstanding bonds commenced on the 13th of March, 2023.
“The initial instruction covers coupon and principal payments on bonds that matured on 6th March 2023 and 13th February 2023. Holders of the afore-listed bonds should therefore expect to receive their payments within the next 48 hours,” a statement from the Finance Ministry said.
“Payments dates for subsequent maturities will be communicated in due course, as processing continues”, the statement added.
Group issues 48hr ultimatum
Earlier today, 14th March, 2023, the Coalition of Individual Bondholder Groups issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Ministry of Finance to pay all matured principal and outstanding coupons due on the existing bonds issued by the Government of Ghana.
This follows the expiration of the deadline by the government to honour its debt obligation.
In a statement signed by Dr. Joel Djangma Akwetey and Senyo Hosi, the coalition 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.
“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. We call 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. More loud silence.”
Market confidence waning
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”.
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