Africa

South Africa’s Comair has “reasonable prospects” of surviving, its administrators said on Tuesday after the airline sought a form of bankruptcy protection earlier this month, Reuters reported. Comair, which operates the local British Airways franchise and budget airline kulula.com, entered a “business rescue” after a lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus forced South African airlines to halt all commercial passenger flights. State flag carrier South African Airways is under the same bankruptcy protection process, while smaller state airline SA Express has been placed under

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Zambia is seeking to restructure its debt after years of “over-ambition” in borrowing to plug an infrastructure deficit, Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu said, Bloomberg News reported. The southern African nation has stopped taking on new commercial debt and is seeking to cancel some loans that it’s contracted but not yet received, he said in an interview with the state broadcaster on Sunday.

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China, Africa’s largest bilateral creditor, is likely to agree to delay but not forgive its $152 billion of loans, an approach at odds with prior forbearance plans from groups including the Paris Club, according to a top Johns Hopkins University researcher, Bloomberg News reported. “The Chinese have always done their lending on the idea that individual projects contribute to structural transformation and economic development,” said Deborah Brautigam, who heads the China Africa Research Initiative at JHU’s School of Advanced International Studies.

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Months of concern over rising Covid-19 infection levels may be secondary for investors in coming days as market-moving events and policy decisions take center stage, Bloomberg News reported. China’s annual National People’s Congress starting Friday will likely keep volatility suppressed for developing-nation currencies, despite the prospect of another flareup in tensions between Beijing and Washington.

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South African Airways (SAA) has spent just under 10 billion rand ($540 million) since it entered a form of bankruptcy protection, business rescue practitioners said on Friday as they flagged a structured wind-down process as their preferred option for the carrier, Reuters reported. The troubled state-owned airline, which has not made a profit since 2011 has been burning cash and is dependent on government bailouts to remain solvent. It entered business rescue in December in a last-ditch bid to save the company. “In terms of the amount of money that has been utilized...

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Creditors of the biggest lender to South African farmers picked Rand Merchant Bank as financial adviser after it missed a loan repayment that triggered a cross-default in notes issued under a 50 billion-rand ($2.7-billion) bond program, according to people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News reported. The Johannesburg-based investment bank has been entrusted with the task of drawing up cash-flow projections for the Land and Agricultural Development Bank, the people said, asking not to be identified as an announcement hasn’t been made.

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Uganda would prefer debt cancellation to help rebuild its economy after the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, rather than rescheduling of payments, Bloomberg News reported. The government of Africa’s second-biggest coffee grower is considering offers from various creditors, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija said by phone Thursday and declined to identify the lenders. “There is an argument with creditors,” Kasaija said, without elaborating. “Most of those who have written” to the ministry suggest the nation reschedule payments, he said from the capital, Kampala.

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Administrators at state-owned South African Airways (SAA) will not sell assets for an interim period without involving the government, a memorandum signed by one of the administrators and the public enterprises ministry showed, Reuters reported. The memorandum, which was seen by Reuters, also said the administrators and the ministry had agreed that the objective of SAA’s bankruptcy protection process was to have a restructured SAA or a new company with no reliance on public finances. A public enterprises ministry spokesman confirmed the memorandum was an authentic document.

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Kenyan banks are expected to hoard cash as they report a jump in first-quarter loan-loss provisions to cope with the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg News reported. Kenyan institutions got a cash boost when the central bank lowered reserve requirements to free up funds for lending, while interest rates have been cut to a nine-year low. Banks have now started restructuring debt for customers hard hit by a drop in business activity because of lockdown-measures aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19.

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Zambia’s request for emergency coronavirus funding from the International Monetary Fund may be scuppered because of the southern African nation’s growing debt burden, Bloomberg News reported. The Washington-based lender last year cautioned that the nation’s borrowing was on an unsustainable path. And now, even as the fund makes as much as $100 billion available to member countries, the IMF warned it won’t lend money to governments if it’s not sure it will be repaid.

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