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Fitch downgrades Ghana’s sovereign debt to ‘Restrictive Default’

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Ghana’s Long-Term Local-Currency (LTLC) Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘RD’ from ‘CCC’.

It has also downgraded to ‘CC’ from ‘CCC’ and subsequently withdrawn the issue ratings on five local-currency bonds issued prior to the domestic debt exchange.

It affirmed the issue rating of local-currency bonds issued on the completion date of the domestic debt exchange at ‘CCC.’

It attributed the rating action to missed payments on some of the local-currency bonds issued prior to the domestic debt exchange.

“The downgrade of Ghana’s LTLC IDR to ‘RD’ reflects the missed payments on some local-currency-denominated bonds that were not tendered or that are held by entities not eligible for participating in the domestic debt exchange”.

These five bonds are ISIN no. GHGGOG044744, GHGGOG066150, GHGGOG043563, GHGGOG065475, GHGGOG044751.

Uncertainty regarding clearing of missed payments

 Following a meeting with representatives of individual bondholders and pension funds, the government announced having reached an agreement on a pathway towards the settlement of the outstanding debt obligations by April 28, 2023.

Fitch said it its view, this announcement does not clarify whether missed payments will be settled to all categories of holders of ‘old bonds’ or only to these two categories.

New Local-Currency bonds affirmed

Fitch affirmed the ‘CCC’ issue rating of local-currency bonds issued on the completion date of the domestic debt exchange programme (the “new bonds”) that was assigned on March 22, 2023.

The first coupon payments on the new bonds are due in August 2023.

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