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We’re holding our bonds based on assurances from Finance Minister – Kpebu

Legal representative of the Individual Bond Holders Association of Ghana (IBHAG), Martin Kpebu, says members of the association are holding on to their existing bonds based on earlier assurances from the Finance Minister.

In a meeting with the Finance Minister last week, Ken Ofori-Atta assured that individual bondholders will be exempted from government’s Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).

According to the Minister, the returns on individual bonds will be honoured, despite the proposed programme.

Speaking on Newsfile on Saturday, Mr Kpebu said based on the Minister’s assurance, members of IBHAG will not subscribe to the new bonds being proposed as part of the DDEP.

“We are holding on to our existing bonds because that’s the firm assurance from the Minister. That the existing bonds will be honoured.

“So once they’ll be honoured, there’s no incentive to trade them in, where we’ll lose value. And as we say, once you hold your bond, you’ll get paid”, he said.

Meanhwile, government is still urging individual bondholders to subscribe to the DDEP as part of efforts to resuscitate the economy.

A sympathiser of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Otchere-Darlo, earlier described the programme as a ‘necessary evil’.

According to him, even though the programme will affect individual bondholders, it is a ‘critical’ move which must be implemented by the current NPP administration.

In a tweet on January 15, he expressed his sympathies with bondholders who are going to suffer as a result of the proposed programme.

He, however, stressed that if the debt policy is not rolled out, it will plunge the entire economy into danger, hence the need for it to be considered despite the harsh consequences.

He said if the programme fails to see the light of day, it will affect other macroeconomic variables, including the country’s ongoing bailout negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

But despite these pleas, the programme remains widely unsubscribed.

As a result, government has extended the deadline for the programme.

Earlier, government had announced that, the deadline was 4pm on January 31.

However owing to unwillingness by stakeholders to enroll unto the programme, the Finance Ministry in a press release on Tuesday said the deadline has been extended to February 7, with a new settlement date of Tuesday, February 14, 2023.

The new deadline is expected to improve patronage of the programme.

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