Story: News Desk
Ghana has a long way to go to restructure its more than 400 billion debt, rating agency, Fitch, said.
According to the UK-based firm, there could be a second round of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).
Ghana is seeking to get debt relief of about $10.5 billion from its external creditors for the next four years.
Speaking on key credit stories of African Sovereigns and Banks, Senior Director in charge of Emerging Market Economies at Fitch, Toby Iles, said, talks on the external debt restructuring have kept long.
“We haven’t had the official creditor committee meeting, so we still quite have a long way to go. Maybe the historic track record on the common framework is moving slowly…that is not great, maybe Ghana can be a bit different”.
“And there’s still quite a lot of work to do. And especially as mentioned, there may still be a lot happening on the domestic debt front”, he added.
Mr. Iles outlined further that the domestic debt exchange did not involve all domestic bonds.
“The domestic debt exchange in some way has been completed but there could still be more to come. In terms of the impact of that before moving to the external side [debt], this has clearly helped Ghana in terms of liquidity. So the interest due is much lower and the principal repayment will also be much lower in the near term. I think we are estimating that in 2023, this means 5% of GDP less in debt service interest in principal. So that’s quite meaningful”.
Again, the Senior Director in charge of Emerging Market Economies at Fitch, said despite liquidity improving, Ghana’s solvency issues have not been addressed.
“Though liquidity has improved, it doesn’t really address Ghana’s solvency issues. And so come three or four years from now, when coupon rates pick up again, repayment pick up again, the problem start again. That’s why there are these negotiations remaining with Eurobond holders which must be completed.”