Media urged to be circumspect in reporting on Ghana’s economic crisis

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In order to prevent unwarranted investor panic, the finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has warned the media to be cautious and only provide accurate facts about the present economic situation and the government’s debt swap scheme.

Speaking during the opening of Ghana’s Domestic Debt Exchange on December 5, 2022, Mr. Ofori-Atta stated that the people will require accurate information from the media since the government will rely on it for education.

“This debt exchange provides an orderly way to put our economy back on track. These efforts will be complemented by fiscal measures to protect the neediest and most vulnerable in society. The Government expects overwhelming support for this exchange.

“And in truth, the success of this necessary endeavour depends, of course, upon the public’s cooperation. That will also mean the media being helpful in disseminating the right information to economic actors. We are all in this together and we intend to get out of this together,” he stated.

Mr. Ofori-Atta said, “I am optimistic that Ghana can overcome these present obstacles and emerge with a far more resilient and robust economy with the assistance of the media and the support of Ghanaians.”

“In the past, we have overcome a number of challenges. We have a strong society, and collectively we can overcome this,”

Additionally, Mr. Ofori-Atta reaffirmed that there would be no “haircut” on bond principal and that holders of government bonds would get their whole investment at maturity.

Treasury Bills are totally exempt, and all holders would be reimbursed the entire amount of their assets at maturity, the Finance Minister stated in a speech on Sunday.

The bond principal won’t be reduced in any way.

Individual bond holders won’t be impacted, he declared in a speech on Sunday night.

He stated that the general conclusions of the debt sustainability study had been reached by the government, and that information on Ghana’s domestic debt exchange will be unveiled on Monday, December 5, 2022.

However, he promised to deliver the external debt restructuring guidelines as soon as possible.

He said that the government is aware that a sizeable number of these bonds are held by Ghana’s financial institutions “as such, the potential impact of this exchange on the financial sector has been assessed by their respective regulators. Working together, these regulators have put in place appropriate measures and safeguards to minimize the potential impact on the financial sector and to ensure that financial stability is preserved.”

“Specifically, the Bank of Ghana, the Securities & Exchange Commission, the National Insurance Commission, and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority will ensure that the impact of the debt operation on your financial institution is minimized, using all regulatory tools available to them.”

“Let me reiterate this point as clearly as I can: holders of domestic bonds will not suffer any losses, will not be impacted, and will keep the value of their assets.

So let’s dispel any ambiguity and rule out any rumors that the government is planning to reduce your retirement holdings.

“As already announced, Treasury Bills are completely exempted, and all holders will be able to recover the total amount of their investment on maturity. There will be no haircuts on the principal of bonds and individuals that holds bonds will not be affected.”

Last week, there were several reports of panicked withdrawals from bonds and Treasury Bills due to rumors that the government was about to reduce investors’ yields.

In order to avoid unwarranted investor panic, Mr. Ofori-Atta pleaded with the media to exercise caution and distribute accurate facts about the present economic situation and the government’s debt exchange scheme.

He continued by saying that the different financial regulators and stakeholders had been enlisted to guarantee the exchange program’s success.


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