Pensioner Bondholders have declared their intention not to be part of the government’s fresh Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) for ESLA and Daakye Bondholders.
The Convener for Pensioner Bondholders, Dr Adu Anane Antwi, in an interview, explained that no pensioner is available to accept the government’s offer.
He stated that pensioners cannot be part of the newly announced offer, emphasising that they have been exempted.
“No pensioner bondholder can ever be targeted, because we have been exempted totally. We don’t have anything to do with this exchange at all. We are not part of it. There’s no pensioner available now for an offer to be made to, simple as that. There’s nobody in category B who is there for the offer, and says I wanted to go in, but I didn’t have the opportunity to go in so now, I’m going in. So category B shouldn’t be in this document at all.”
“The government cannot overturn its own decision to exempt us. It is in the records of parliament, we have a letter, we have been exempted, and it’s not based on any condition, it’s an unconditional exemption. Government cannot go anywhere”.
Dr Adu Anane chastised the Ministry of Finance for lacking an understanding of the new DDEP, adding that they will organise a press conference in the coming days to give a proper explanation on the issue.
“I believe they [government] didn’t get the understanding well, they haven’t analysed things well. If you analyse the situation, the person who was writing the memorandum of exchange should have known that there were no Category B holders available for that offer. They have already accepted. We will have a press conference and explain to the people who are handling this matter that they are wrong. They didn’t understand the concept well,” the Convener of Pensioner Bondholders said.
An economist, Dr John Gatsi also said bondholders cannot be compelled to be part of ESLA and Daakye Trust.
“If there’s any call for people to surrender for Daakye PLC and ESLA, it should not include those who have already indicated that they will not be part. Nobody can be compelled to go into a debt exchange programme. DDEP is a voluntary offer if people refuse to be part, they have not offended any law,” Prof Gatsi stated.
The government, on September 13, opened fresh invitations to E.S.L.A. Plc and Daakye Trust Plc bondholders to trade their holdings for a new package under the domestic debt exchange programme.
A September 13, press release from the Ministry of Finance urged holders of the domestic notes and bonds to actively and voluntarily accept the invitation and participate.
“The Government announced today September 13, that it is reopening its invitation to the exchange that settled in February 2023 (the “February 2023 Exchange”) and is therefore once again inviting holders of the domestic notes and bonds of the Republic of Ghana, E.S.L.A. Plc and Daakye Trust Plc that are specified in Appendix A attached hereto (the “Eligible Bonds”) to tender their holdings of the Eligible Bonds in exchange for a package of New Tranches (as defined below) of the same new bonds that were issued by the Government (the “New Bonds”) as part of the February 2023 Exchange (such invitation hereinafter referred to as the “Invitation”).”
The Domestic Debt Exchange Program was launched in December 2022 with the hope of restoring Ghana’s capacity to service its debt.