Africa

Debt owed to South African towns and cities almost doubled over the past five years, weighing on municipal finances and increasing the risk that the supply of basic services such as water and electricity will be disrupted, Bloomberg News reported. Consumers owed municipalities 255.4 billion rand ($14.8 billion) by the end the financial year through June 30, compared with 232.8 billion a year earlier, according to data the National Treasury published on Friday. Households account for 71% of this.
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Zambia's debt restructuring will be a mixture of haircuts to loans' original value and maturity extensions, a senior Zambian finance ministry official said Thursday, after the Fund approved a $1.3 billion program for the southern African country, Reuters reported. Negotiations with creditors to restructure debt that reached $17 billion at the end of 2021 are starting now, Mukuli Chikuba, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, said at a joint Zambian government and IMF news conference in Zambia's capital Lusaka.
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Ghana's central bank on Wednesday delivered its biggest rate hike ever, a 300 basis point increase to 22%, at an emergency meeting to address the economy's rapid deterioration amid crippling inflation, Reuters reported. The hike comes just three weeks after it kept its monetary policy rate unchanged at 19% and said it was pausing to observe the impact of a series of record-breaking hikes. It had been due to meet again in late September, but on Monday it said an emergency meeting was needed.
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Crypto futures exchange CoinFLEX has filed for restructuring in Seychelles as part of its plan to improve its financial situation, CoinDesk.com reported. It applied to the Seychelles Supreme Court for reorganization and restructuring. CoinFLEX will now seek approval from creditors for its restructuring plans. On Tuesday, CoinFLEX sent an email to its creditors stating the exchange is looking to implement the proposals outlined last month, which include issuing depositors with recovery tokens, equity and locked FLEX coins.
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China invited Zambia's private creditors to discuss the nation's debt later this month after official creditors agreed to a restructuring of its debt, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Du Xiaohui said on Thursday, Reuters reported. Zambia's creditors have pledged to negotiate a restructuring of the country's debts in a move welcomed by International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva as "clearing the way" for a $1.4 billion fund programme.
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South Africa's Remgro Ltd said on Thursday it will buy hospital chain operator Mediclinic International in a consortium with Switzerland's MSC Mediterranean Shipping for 3.7 billion pounds ($4.49 billion), Reuters reported. The offer, which was the consortium's fourth after the earlier ones were rejected by Mediclinic's board, values the company at 6.1 billion pounds ($7.41 billion), Remgro and Mediclinic said in a joint statement. Mediclinic is South Africa's third biggest operator of hospitals and billionaire tycoon Johann Rupert's Remgro already owns up to 45% of the company.
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Zambia's sovereign dollar-denominated Eurobonds gained more than 1 cent in the dollar on Monday, after a pledge on Saturday by bilateral creditors to negotiate debt relief cleared the way for a $1.4 billion deal with the IMF, Reuters reported. Its 2024 maturity was up 1.417 cents at 8.46 GMT, according to Tradeweb data, while the 2027 issue was up 1.242 cents. Bonds were bid between 58.5 cent and 59.2 cents - still trading at distressed levels - but at their strongest in a month. There was no trading data available for the issue that matures in September 2022.
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The sale of Central African Republic's first digital coin got off to a slow start, with just over 5% of the target bought in the hours after its launch, amid questions about the project's transparency and a wider downturn in the industry, Reuters reported. Central African Republic (CAR), one of the world's poorest countries, became the first African state to make bitcoin legal tender in April, baffling many cryptocurrency experts and prompting the International Monetary Fund to warn it was not a "panacea" for Africa's challenges.
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Clem Oladehin, an economist and investment banker, has warned that Nigeria is edging toward bankruptcy, regretting that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is making political decisions at the expense of the economy, Hallmark News reported. Oladehin pointed out that the continued payment of fuel subsidies is having grievous effects on the economy, even as he noted that policy inconsistencies on the part of the government are hampering investor confidence. “Subsidies are undermining the little growth achieved before,” said Oladehin.
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Liberian Businessman Amos Brosius is requesting that Chief Justice Francis Korkpor make sure that his company’s US$3 million is returned by the Judiciary before Korkpor's retirement in September of this year, the Liberian Observer reported. The disputed US$3 million was placed in an escrow account at the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), managed by the Judiciary through the Commercial Court, after both Brosius and the Monrovia Oil Trading Company (MOTC) could not agree to the management of Ducor Petroleum Incorporated.
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