Fitch describes Ghana’s debt exchange programme as distressed one
Feb 15, 2023 9:49 AM
Ratings agency, Fitch has described Ghana’s debt exchange programme as a distressed one.
This is under its criteria, given this material reduction in terms vis-à-vis the original contractual terms, and given that the exchange is needed to avoid a traditional payment default.
According to Fitch’s sovereign rating criteria, a ‘Rating Default’ rating is consequently assigned to the Long-Term Local Currency Issuer Default Rating.
Among the 67 eligible bonds that could be tendered, six are rated by Fitch. A ‘D’ rating has been assigned to these six bonds.
Missed LC principal payment:
A 4.2 brillion principal payment was due on February 6, 2023.
But in the second amended and restated exchange memorandum released on Feb. 7, authorities announced that eligible holders holding this bond would not receive a final interest payment and a final principal payment, regardless of whether an eligible holder has tendered or not.
But in a press release issued by the Finance Ministry on February 14, 2023, the authorities announced that coupon payments and maturing principals would be honoured “in line with government fiscal commitments.”
This announcement, Fitch, said does not clarify yet when the payment will be made to holders who opted out of the domestic debt exchange. In particular, it does not clarify whether a principal payment will be made before the expiration of the grace period for this specific issue. This security is one of the six issues that have been downgraded to ‘D’.
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