Division has rocked the front of two groups of individual bondholders which have collaborated since the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme commenced.
Both parties have always been independent but have worked together occasionally for the common good of its members, knowing that any positive outcomes of their advocacy will benefit every individual bondholder.
However, Individual Bondholders Association of Ghana (IBHAG) led by Martin Kpebu started the feud by describing Senyo Hosi, convener of Individual Bondholders Forum (IBF) as a seeming “appendage of the Ministry of Finance; doing its bidding.”
“This is supported by the wavering views, which depart completely from the past collective position of individual bondholders,” IBHAG said.
According to IBAG, this development is not what was agreed upon by its outfit and lamenting that the views were not even discussed with bondholders.
IBHAG which has recused itself from the deliberations of the Technical Committee of the government’s DDEP argued that the process is turning out to impose pain on its members.
“It further added that “Private meetings between Hosi of IBF and the Ministry of Finance, are not the solutions to the concerns of Individual Bondholders whose coupon and principal payments have been in arrears for over two months.”
It also urged the Finance Ministery to refrain from private meetings and discussions with some individuals who “appear to have dramatically disengaged from the interest of the collective.”
In response, IBF described the statements from IBHAG, attacking the personality of Hosi as unfortunate, inaccurate, unfair, and dishonest.
IBF has proposed to government to convert the GH₵926 million principal payments of matured bonds into Treasury bills at the prevailing market conditions, if it faces liquidity challenges.
However, it wants all outstanding coupons in cash as and when they fall due.
According to him, government owed the bondholders GH₵1.29 billion (GH₵365 million as coupons and GH₵926 million as principal), a significant sum that excludes payments owed to pensioners.
According to IBF, The ideas and proposals tabled by Hosi at the meetings with MoF all of which have been public have been concepts prior discussed and approved by the relevant committees of the IBF.
“These proposals were also prior discussed with the leadership of the IBHAG.
“We find the false representations of IBHAG an affront to the collective effort to ensure that the GoG honours its commitment to individual bondholders whose coupon and principal payments have not been honoured since they became due,” IBF stated.
IBF emphasized that all the energy and collective will that they can muster at this time, should be directed towards getting the MoF to honour its commitment to its innocent members who have done no wrong by investing in Government Bonds.
It said the last thing individual bondholders need is the self-destruction of collective efforts through name-calling, mistrust, and unfounded allegations.
The IBF with over 340,000 members said it has no objection to IBHAG recusing itself from the Technical Committee.
“Our primary objective is to continue the engagements with the MoF to secure full and final closure to the issue of coupon and maturity payments for individual bondholders and collective investment schemes that chose the option to self-exempt under the DDEP.
“We expect that the Technical Committee will submit its report by Wednesday 26th April 2023 after which we will hold the Government to account on all agreed deliverables.
“We reaffirm our confidence and trust in the leadership of Hosi,” it added.
IBF pledged to continue to work assiduously to advocate for, and effectively represent the interests of, individual bondholders and collective investment schemes notwithstanding the advocacy group they decide to be part of.
IBHAG also commit to continue to have a working relationship with the Pensioners Forum which seem to be the group more focused and determined to ensure the protection of the investments of the individual Bondholders.