Voluntary debt securities exchange programme launched by COCOBOD

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COCOBOD
COCOBOD

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has launched a voluntary debt securities exchange programme aimed at optimising the funding structure of Ghana’s cocoa sector regulator.

COCOBOD
COCOBOD

The programme, which allows for a swap of debt securities with new ones at lower coupon rates, would see COCOBOD issue longer-term bonds with an aggregate principal amount of approximately GHS7.93 billion available between 2024 and 2028.

Announcing this on Friday, July 14, COCOBOD said offers could be submitted immediately up till Monday, July 31, but was subject to extension.

This development comes following the launch of a new debt exchange programme for US Dollar-denominated bonds by the Ministry of Finance.

Holders of Cocoa Bills whose offers are accepted would receive five different bonds with an aggregate principal amount equal to the principal amount of Cocoa Bills tendered, COCOBOD said.

The principal amount of the bonds will be rounded down to the nearest GHS1.00, equivalent to the principal amount of the Cocoa Bills tendered, with any accrued and unpaid interest due on the Cocoa Bills also factored into the exchange, it explained.

It added that the five bonds will mature on a one-per-year basis consecutively from, and including, 2024 to, and including, 2028.

“An offer, once made, cannot be revoked or withdrawn at any time except in the limited circumstances described in the Exchange Memorandum,” Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the Chief Executive Office said.

CalBank Plc has been appointed as arrangers for the programme with Consolidated Bank, Ghana (CBG) as trustees, while the Central Securities Depository Limited would be the transfer and calculation agents as well the Registrar.

“This not great [for investors], because you’ll get the sense that the cocoa sector is profitable and given how long we’ve been doing this, there’s reason why we should be running into the kind of difficulties we have,” Dr Patrick Asuming, an Economist said.

“With this development, COCOBOD will struggle in the future to raise new bills like this, because even the government of Ghana is going to struggle to issue new bonds, giving the domestic debt exchange that it has done,” he said.

By Francis Ntow

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