Africa

A group of syndicated loan members who lent $622 million to Mozambican state firm ProIndicus in 2013 are looking for a similar restructuring deal that has been agreed with Eurobond holders, a spokesman for the group said on Wednesday. Mozambique, which has missed several repayments, said on Tuesday it had reached an agreement to restructure a $726.5 million Eurobond, including extending maturities and sharing future gas revenues, Reuters reported. The Eurobond replaced an earlier bond issued by Mozambican state firm Ematum.

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The liquidation of Saf-Cacao, one of Ivory Coast’s biggest cocoa exporters, has stalled after the favored bidder for the company’s assets failed to make a first payment, according to people familiar with the matter. Last month, liquidator Alain Guillemain approved the sale of Saf-Cacao to a unit of Prime Group of Companies in a 170 billion CFA francs ($296 million) deal after considering two final bids for the shipper’s assets, people familiar with the situation said at the time, Bloomberg News reported.

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The southern African nation has agreed in principle with holders of 60 percent of its bonds, including New York-based hedge fund Greylock Capital Management LLC, a deal that will see them swap into a new $900 million Eurobond maturing in 2033 and another instrument linked to future gas revenues, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported. This “looks like an important first step out of its long-running debt saga,” said William Jackson, chief emerging-market economist at Capital Economics Ltd. in London.

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South African Airways is looking at ways to roll over 9.2 billion rand ($640 million) of debt by March as the loss-making state-owned carrier works to make more routes profitable, Chief Executive Officer Vuyani Jarana said. The airline has emerged as a major headache for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government as it battles to ease the burden of state-owned companies on public finances, Bloomberg News reported.

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South Africa’s finance minister said the nation’s troubled flag-carrier should be shut down, casting doubt on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s stated goal of saving what was once Africa’s biggest airline, the Financial Times reported. South African Airways “is lossmaking, it’s unlikely to sort out the situation, in my view we should close it down”, said Tito Mboweni, an outspoken former central bank governor, at an event with investors in New York on Thursday.

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Steinhoff International Holdings NV is considering the sale of properties within French furniture chain Conforama, the latest move by the embattled retailer to shore up its balance sheet, according to people familiar with the matter. The value of the portfolio is about 800 million euros ($907 million), said the people, who asked not to be named as the information isn’t public, Bloomberg News reported. The properties are held outside European real-estate subsidiary Hemisphere, which is disposing of assets as part of a debt-restructuring deal, they said.

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The International Monetary Fund said it wants assurances from the Republic of Congo’s creditors about how the nation’s debt will be restructured before it considers a bailout, Bloomberg News reported. The debt-laden country has been trying to secure a bailout since last year from the IMF, which has asked the government to curb rampant corruption and divulge the assets of high-level officials before providing any support. Oil-producing Congo’s economy has contracted for the past two years and it owes creditors at least 5.31 trillion CFA francs ($9.2 billion).

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The National Treasury allocated 5 billion rand ($350 million) to help South African Airways to repay debt, but said the state-owned airline will have to engage with creditors to restructure almost double that amount, Bloomberg News reported. SAA has 14.2 billion rand of repayments due by March, the Treasury said in its mid-term budget statement Wednesday. The company “is not generating sufficient cash to repay its total debt, and will have to negotiate with lenders to refinance or extend maturity dates,’’ it said.

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Creditors of Kenya’s ARM Cement, once the country’s second-largest cement maker but which has been in administration since August, approved on Tuesday the sale of a subsidiary or assets to reduce its debt of $190 million, Reuters reported. The creditors did not identify which subsidiary or assets would be sold, or the possible value of a sale, under Tuesday’s rescue plan, during which the company will remain operational. George Weru, one of the co-administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), told Reuters they had 12 months to rescue the company.

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The administrator of Kenya’s debt-laden ARM Cement will ask its creditors for support to keep the company running by selling some of ARM’s assets to cut debt, as well as a plan to engage with financiers for working capital, Reuters reported. George Weru, a co-administrator for the cement firm, told Reuters the proposals will be put to the company’s creditors on Tuesday when they meet to chart the best way forward. The company was put into administration in August by some of its creditors and its shares suspended from the Nairobi bourse.

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