Pensioners Give Government Two-Week Ultimatum to Pay Coupon Rates on Matured Bonds

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Pensioners Bondholders Give Government Ultimatum to Pay Matured Bonds

Pensioners bondholders who were exempted from the government’s Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) have given the government a two-week ultimatum to pay coupon rates on matured bonds. The bondholders have accused the government of defaulting in paying the yields.

The Finance Ministry had released a statement on February 27, 2023, promising to honor coupon rates on matured bondholders who did not sign up for the DDEP. The statement said that “in fulfillment of the assurance given by Government to bondholders who did not tender, the Ministry is taking administrative steps to ensure that payments of coupons and principals of the old bonds resume by March 13, 2023.”

However, some bondholders have reported that they are yet to receive payment of coupons and principals on their investments, days after the assurance by the government. In response, the Pensioner Bondholders Forum, led by Dr. Adu Anane Antwi, a former Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has given the government a two-week ultimatum to fulfill their promise.

Speaking in an interview with Joy Business, Dr. Antwi said affected persons would resume picketing if the government fails to honor the claim. He lamented that despite the exemption of some bonds, the government has failed to pay the coupons and principals as and when they fall due. Dr. Antwi stressed that the bondholders would not allow the situation to continue and would resume their picketing if the government fails to fulfill its promise by March 21, 2023.

The Pensioner Bondholders Forum has been vocal in their demand for the payment of their matured bonds, with several picketing exercises organized in the past to press home their demands. The forum argues that the government has an obligation to pay matured bonds, whether or not they were exempted from the DDEP.

The DDEP was introduced by the government as part of efforts to restructure Ghana’s domestic debt and extend the maturity profile of the debt. The programme involved the exchange of old domestic bonds for new ones with longer tenors and lower coupon rates. However, some bondholders who were not part of the exchange have accused the government of reneging on its obligation to pay them.

The Pensioner Bondholders Forum has given the government a two-week ultimatum to pay coupon rates on matured bonds. If the government fails to fulfill its promise, the bondholders have threatened to resume their picketing exercise. The government has promised to honor its obligation to bondholders who were not part of the DDEP, and it remains to be seen if they will fulfill their promise by the March 21 deadline set by the Pensioner Bondholders Forum.

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