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Ghana Sends New Debt Rework Proposal to Advance Bondholder Talks - BLOOMBERG

JUNE 14, 2024

Jorgelina do Rosario and Ezra FieserBloomberg News

, Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Ghana sent a new debt restructuring proposal to the country’s international bondholders as it aims to advance talks on reworking $13 billion of eurobonds, according to people familiar with the matter. 

Advisers representing a group of foreign creditors are weighing the proposal, which was put forth by representatives for the government this week, the people said, asking not to be identified as the talks are private. If there is tentative consensus over the terms, the two sides could enter into non-disclosure agreements, a signal they’re getting closer to a deal, one of the people said. 

The people declined to discuss details of the offer. 

A spokeswoman at the finance ministry declined to comment when reached by phone. A representative for the committee of bondholders based in Washington didn’t reply to a message seeking comment. 

Separately, the West African nation reached a deal Wednesday with bilateral creditors, including France and China, to provide relief on $5.1 billion of debt during an International Monetary Fund-supported program. Ghana is restructuring almost all of its $44 billion of obligations as part of the IMF loan. 

Negotiations with private creditors for the $13 billion of bonds stalled in April because the proposal breached the IMF’s debt sustainability parameters. At the time, the government said it would continue to tweak the terms. The April proposal would have seen bondholders repaid 71 cents for every dollar lent, whereas an agreement in principle reached between Ghana and its official creditors will return 62 cents for every dollar lent, according to London-based Debt Justice.

The country’s eurobonds due in 2026, 2027 and 2030 were the best performers in emerging markets by percentage gained as of 9:07 a.m. in London, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Ghana’s notes due in 2030 traded at 68.5 cents on the dollar, the highest level since September, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

A key part of the bondholder negotiations is to clarify if the Ghanaian economy is performing better than the IMF projected in its original three-year program. The IMF had initially forecast growth of 1.5% in 2023, but the economy expanded by 2.9% when the government released year-end data. 

The world’s second-biggest cocoa producer reached a staff-level agreement on the second review of the program two months ago, but the latest country report is not public as the review still needs the executive board’s sign off. One of the people said that the IMF’s latest macro-framework was shared with Ghana’s bondholders advisers.

The members of the international creditor committee control approximately 40% of the outstanding notes. A steering committee for the group includes representatives from Abrdn, Amundi (UK) Ltd, BlackRock and Greylock Capital Management. 

The government is advised by Lazard Inc. and Hogan Lovells and the committee is advised by Rothschild & Cie and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Another group of creditors including regional African banks is advised by Renaissance Capital Africa.

--With assistance from Ekow Dontoh.

(Adds details of April deal in sixth paragraph, updated bond prices in seventh.)


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