Stop bullying bondholders with debt exchange – IMANI to government

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Kofi Bentil
Kofi Bentil

The Vice President of policy think tank, IMANI Africa, has lambasted government over its handling of the debt exchange programme.

Kofi Bentil said government has been arrogant in its approach to the exercise and must be called out.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Mr Bentil said the bondholders have a right to their monies and must be respected.

According to him, there were serious consultations in all the other countries that have undertaken the exercise successfully.

“It took Jamaica 30 months. It took Barbados 18 months. It took Grenada 30 months. It is NOT simple because you are asking people to hand over their property to you. YOU CAN’T STAMPEDE THEM!,” he posted.

Mr Bentil in the said Facebook post added that Finance Ministry has failed to coordinate with the creditors involved.

“The Finance Ministry has failed to pay the costs of coordinating local creditors and co-creating the solution with them. Everywhere we have seen a successful debt restructuring, that is what the government did. Bar none!” he added.

In a bid to rescue the economy and secure a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), government has proposed that all bondholders will not receive any interest on their bonds for the 2023 financial year.

The payment of dividends, according to government is likely to begin next year, 2024 at a discounted rate of 5%.

In relation to this, bondholders who may want to transfer their bonds will not be able to get the full principal they initially invested as bonds.

This proposal, since its announcement, has been rejected by many bondholders who have expressed frustration about the development.

In their view, if the proposal is implemented, they will suffer a great deal of loss, with many of them stating that their investments may even become unprofitable.

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