The Executive Director of the Alliance for Social Equity (ASEPA), Mensah Thompson, has accused the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, of settling on a government debt restructuring programme to satisfy his personal interest.
According to Mensah Thompson, the finance minister contrary to other viable options settled on the recently announced programme in the interest of his financial company Databank.
“Finally Finally on the Illegal Debt Operation Program announced by Ken Ofori-Atta, I have been asking my Global Partners and contacts at the IMF and the Global Capital Market whether this debt operation strategy announced by Ken was the only way to restructure our current debt and the emphatic answers I have received so far has been a resounding NO!!
On the contrary Ken Ofori-Atta only chose this path because this is the path that would make more money his Databank. You see as part of the debt operation program, you are being asked to return your own bond and swap it for a fresh bond that would be issued to reflect the new debt operation structure. Guess what, who are going to be the bond market specialists for the new bonds that would be issued? Guess who are going to be book runners and transaction advisors for the new bonds that would be issued… Your guess is as good as mine,” Mensah Thompson wrote in a Facebook post.
The Government of Ghana on Sunday, December 4, 2022, announced a Debt Restructuring Programme asking institutional bondholders to voluntarily exchange their existing bonds for new ones.
The new agreement among other things will replace existing local-currency debt with four new bonds maturing in 2027, 2029, 2032, and 2037; Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said.
This has seen government entreat local bondholders to accept losses on interest payments set at 0% in 2023, 5% in 2024, and 10% from 2025.
However, several financial institutions as well as government bondholders have flatly declined the proposed agreement.