Ghana extends domestic debt exchange registration to Feb. 10 after ‘glitches’
ACCRA, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Ghana has extended the deadline to sign up for its domestic debt swap program to Feb. 10, after some bondholders experienced “technical glitches” during that they have completed the process, the finance ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
It is the fifth time the West African nation has extended the deadline for the scheme, which must be completed to secure a $3 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund.
Ghana is fighting its way out of a generational economic crisis by raising interest rates at record speed, cutting spending, and restructuring its local and foreign debt.
The results of the domestic bidding process will be released on February 13, and the final solution will be issued the next day, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
Ghana hopes 80% of bondholders will sign up for the program, but reservations have persisted despite several revisions to the original December offer.
Two major associations of individual bondholders on Monday urged their members not to register, and small groups of retirees protested their inclusion in front of the finance ministry late in the morning.
Ghana exempted pension funds from the wider debt swap in late December after widespread protest, but trade unionists have expressed concern that they could be asked to participate again. Opposition lawmakers on Monday asked for the plan to be formally approved by Parliament before it starts.
The Finance Minister of Ghana has repeatedly said that failure to secure an IMF support package could risk economic deterioration throughout the country. Consumer inflation was 52.2% in December. (Reporting by Cooper Inveen; Editing by Sofia Christensen and Stephen Coates)