Africa

Mozambican state companies have failed to account for about a quarter of the proceeds of $2 billion in loans being investigated, according to a report by Kroll LLC that creditors said was needed for debt restructuring talks to start, Bloomberg News reported. “At least $500 million of expenditure of a potentially sensitive nature remains unaudited and unexplained,” Kroll said in the report, commissioned last year by Mozambique’s attorney general. Credit Suisse Group AG and VTB Bank PJSC were paid almost $200 million in fees for arranging the loans, the New York-based investigator said.
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Kenya’s government agreed to swap loans it provided to Kenya Airways Ltd. for equity, a conversion that may give the state a controlling stake in the national carrier, Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich said. The government will also guarantee 77 billion shillings ($745 million) of the airline’s debt to lessors and domestic banks, enabling Kenya Airways to extend its loan repayments to 10 years, Rotich told reporters Tuesday in the capital, Nairobi, Bloomberg News reported. The government has yet to decide what amount of loans it will swap, he said.
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A state-run company in Mozambique skipped $134 million in payments on a government-guaranteed loan, the third time this year the southern African nation failed to meet its obligations as a standoff with creditors blocks debt restructuring talks, Bloomberg News reported. Mozambique Asset Management, one of three state-owned companies that took out undisclosed loans worth about $2 billion, failed to make the payment due May 23, Rogerio Nkomo, a spokesman for the Finance Ministry, said by phone.
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Kenya Airways expects to unveil a big capital restructuring in the next two months as part of its turnround strategy after returning to operational profitability following four years of losses, the Financial Times reported. Mbuvi Ngunze, who steps down as chief executive next week, said the airline, which slashed its loss before tax by 61 per cent in the year to March 2017, “is not out of the woods yet”.
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Kenya Airways is about to conclude its capital restructuring, its chairman said on Wednesday, edging closer to putting past financial woes behind it, the carrier's chairman said, Reuters reported. The airline, part-owned by the state and AirFrance KLM, sank into the red four years ago after tourism slumped following a spate of attacks in Kenya by militants from the Somalia-based al Shabaab Islamist group. Last year the carrier had negative equity of 35 billion shillings ($339 million), Reuters data showed, and the business was sustained by shareholder loans.
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Mozambique’s parliament ratified a law that provides state guarantees for previously hidden loans of two state-owned companies that sparked a debt crisis in one of the world’s poorest countries, Bloomberg News reported. Lawmakers from the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique approved the state accounts for 2015, which included guarantees for loans worth $1.12 billion that ProIndicus and Mozambique Asset Management took out in the prior two years. Opposition members left the legislature in protest when the vote was taken late Wednesday.
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Mozambique increased minimum pay levels for workers including government employees, even as the International Monetary Fund urged the country to keep its wage bill under control amid a debt crisis, Bloomberg News reported. Public workers’ minimum wages will rise by 21 percent, Labor Minister Vitoria Diogo said Tuesday after a cabinet meeting in the capital, Maputo. The increase is higher than that for employees in the private sector including banking, construction and manufacturing, and slightly less than inflation, which accelerated to 21.57 percent in March.
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Ratings agency Fitch is likely to follow rival Standard & Poor’s and cut South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to below investment-grade, analysts said, an outcome that would underscore worries about political uncertainty and prompt a further sell-off in assets, the Irish Times reported. The ratings agency was considering its position as thousands of South Africans took to the streets on Friday to urge President Jacob Zuma to step down after a turbulent week in the wake of his firing of respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan.
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Mozambique’s attorney-general asked the country’s banks to provide details of former President Armando Guebuza’s accounts as part of an audit of $2 billion of previously undisclosed government loans, Bloomberg News reported. The office requested the information about Guebuza and 17 other individuals and an institution for the period January 2012 to December 2016, according to a letter sent to the country’s banks and obtained by Bloomberg.
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Nigeria's state-owned AMCON has recovered 681.5 billion naira ($2.2 bln) over the past six years from debtors in the form of cash, properties and shares, it said on Monday. The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) was set up in 2010 to absorb banking sector-wide non-performing loans in exchange for government bonds, after the central bank rescued nine weak lenders from collapse in 2009, Reuters reported. Read more.
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