Africa

Creditors of South African Airways (SAA) on Monday approved another delay in the publication of a rescue plan after the cash-strapped airline’s administrators requested an extension because of an objection by trade unions, Reuters reported. The rescue plan for SAA, which has not made a profit since 2011, was due to be published on Monday. It has been repeatedly pushed back amid fierce wrangling over the airline’s future.

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Switzerland has opened a probe related to $2 billion of loans to Mozambique that were organized by banks including Credit Suisse Group AG and VTB Bank PJSC, in a scandal that has already attracted the attention of prosecutors in the U.S, Bloomberg News reported. The criminal probe started in February against “persons unknown” on suspicion of money laundering in connection with the credit, the Office of the Attorney General said on Friday. The target of the proceedings is not any specific person or entity, the office said.

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South Africa’s Comair , which is under bankruptcy protection, intends to halve its fleet of aircraft as part of efforts to rescue the company, its administrators said on Friday, Reuters reported. Comair, which operates the local British Airways franchise and budget airline kulula.com, filed for business rescue, a South African form of bankruptcy protection, last month after restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus forced airlines to stop flying.

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Angola Faces Up to Debt Crisis

With an external debt burden approaching $50 billion, a plea from Angola to reschedule its repayments is a stark reminder that some African economies were in deep trouble even before the coronavirus outbreak, Bloomberg News reported. Details are sparse. President Joao Lourenco said on May 30 sub-Saharan Africa’s fourth-biggest economy had started talks to renegotiate its debt, without specifying which loans or Eurobonds are affected. The finance ministry has since announced plans to “re-profile” borrowings from nations that buy its oil.

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South African farmers are increasingly turning to commercial lenders to top up their working capital as the Land and Agricultural Development Bank battles a liquidity crisis, Bloomberg News reported. The Land Bank, which supplies about 30% of loans in the agricultural industry, missed a loan repayment in April that triggered a cross-default provision in some of its bonds. As the state-owned lender works with its funders and National Treasury to restore its financial affairs, farmers are looking elsewhere.

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A privately owned power transmission company accused the Zambian government of taking steps to expropriate its assets, as a dispute over supplies to a key mine in Africa’s second-biggest copper producer escalated, Bloomberg News reported. The feud is centered around electricity provision to Konkola Copper Mines, the Vedanta Resources Ltd. unit that the government placed under liquidation a year ago, and which has a $144 million unpaid power bill.

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As China tightens its belt economically in response to the coronavirus, African leaders are anxious about the future of infrastructure projects, trade and, in some cases, are requesting debt relief, VOA reported. China is Africa’s largest trading partner with over $200 billion in combined imports and exports annually.

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In January 2020, the media reported a court petition by the State Bank of Mauritius (SBM) to liquidate the East African Cables over a $2.85 million (Ksh285 million) debt, Ventures Africa reported. However, the two parties have reached an agreement, recently, on the restructuring of the $2.85 million (Ksh285 million) debt that is due and payable on demand. “The withdrawal of the petition is a significant step towards the company’s turnaround plan that includes strengthening of the balance sheet, operational improvement and having the right funding structure for growth and profitability,” sai

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South Africa’s Comair said on Tuesday it was unlikely to restart operations before November, even after the easing of restrictions on air travel, as the airline requires a substantial cash injection, Reuters reported. The company, which operates the local British Airways franchise and budget airline kulula.com, entered bankruptcy protection process last month after a nationwide coronavirus lockdown forced airlines to suspend all commercial flights.

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A draft rescue plan for South African Airways (SAA) contains about 4.6 billion rand ($263.4 million) of new bailouts as part of a restructuring aimed at saving the airline from collapse, a copy of the plan showed on Monday, Reuters reported. State-owned SAA entered business rescue - a local form of bankruptcy protection - in December after almost a decade of financial losses, with its fortunes deteriorating when the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to halt all commercial passenger flights in March.

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