Domestic Debt Exchange: An economist explains “implicit haircuts” to Gabby and Ofori-Atta

On December 4, 2022, Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta announced a Domestic Debt Exchange, with the understanding that specifics of the aforementioned programme will be revealed today, December 5.

Domestic Debt Exchange: An economist explains "implicit haircuts" to Gabby and Ofori-Atta

In his four-minute speech, he made three main points, one of which was, “There will be NO haircut on the principal of bonds.”

Following debate over whether domestic bondholders will receive haircuts, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, who was tweeting excerpts of Ofori-speech, Atta’s emphasised the “no haircuts” issue.

But in response to that specific tweet, economist and political risk analyst Dr. Theo Acheampong clarified that the Minister’s and Gabby’s point of view was incorrect.

Mr. Acheampong clarified: “That’s NOT TRUE, boss,” quoting Gabby’s tweet that stated: “There will be no haircut on the principal of your domestic bonds.

“Treasury bills are safeguarded (full redemption), according to the Finance Minister, but other local debt instruments (such as fixed debt and bank debt holdings) must be swapped for 4 instruments with various maturities and coupon payments. There are hence implied haircuts!”

Regarding domestic bonds, Ofori-declaration Atta’s also included the following two important points: “Individual holders of bonds would not be harmed,” and “Treasury Bills are totally exempted and all holders will be paid the full value of their assets upon maturity.”

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Eric Palmer

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