Lusaka ~ Wed, 30 Sept 2020
By ZR Reporter
Finance minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu has disclosed that Zambia is hoping to reach a debt restructuring agreement with creditors by April, 2020, a move that will see the country getting nearly US$1 billion of debt service relief from its requests.
Dr Ng’andu told creditors via webcast that the decision to restructure debt will help the country get on a path of recovery.
“We have engaged systematically with our official creditors for debt service suspension as well as our commercial creditors to seek similar debt service treatment, including the rescheduling of past due arrears accumulated throughout the year. We hope to be in a position to reach an agreement in principle with our external creditor community on a debt treatment and with the IMF on a staff level agreement for a programme by the end of the standstill period,” Dr Ng’andu said.
Zambia has launched a vote with its Eurobond holders, proposing to defer interest payments on its three outstanding dollar-denominated bonds in a standstill period until April 14, 2021.
Relief, once debt service suspensions are granted, will be around $81 million under the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) and to $897 million on commercial claims, bringing the total to almost $1 billion.
The country’s external public debt burden amounts to around $12 billion with $3 billion outstanding Eurobonds, $3.5 billion of bilateral debt, $2.9 billion of other commercial debt and $2.1 billion owed to multilaterals while around $3 billion of public debt is owed to China.
China or debt owed by state-owned power company Zesco.