Africa

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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Africa may require at least $100 billion to stabilize countries reeling from the coronavirus outbreak and associated lockdowns, which are pushing economies into recession and heightening the risk of defaults, Bloomberg News reported. The AfDB is expected to play a major role, and the spat could jeopardize a pledge by the lender's 80 shareholders to more than double its capital base to $208 billion. The Abidjan-based bank's debt is rated triple A, a status that may also be at stake.

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Angola is in talks with key lenders to reschedule debt payments after a prolonged recession triggered by a drop in crude prices raised concerns about the sustainability of the African nation’s finances, Bloomberg News reported. The discussions have resumed after an interruption of about three months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, President Joao Lourenco said in a speech broadcast on state-controlled RNA Radio on Friday. He didn’t give details about the loans or specify if the talks included Eurobonds.

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Kenya’s banks are likely to issue fewer loans this year and boost investments in government debt to safeguard earnings under threat from the fallout of the coronavirus, Bloomberg News reported. That’s the assessment of some analysts after the East African nation’s lenders released first-quarter results that showed lower profit, a surge in loan-loss provisions and a wave of debt restructurings.

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Administrators at South African Airways have asked for more time to publish a business rescue plan for the struggling state-owned airline so they can discuss new government restructuring proposals, a letter to creditors showed, Reuters reported. The administrators, who were meant to publish their plan on Friday, have asked for a new deadline of June 8 so they can consult with creditors, employees and the government. If the delay in publication is approved, they will start those talks on June 1, they said in the letter, dated May 28.

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Kenya urgently needs to establish a credit-guarantee program to reduce the risk of lending to small- and mid-sized companies battered by the coronavirus pandemic, according to central bank Governor Patrick Njoroge, Bloomberg News reported. Three in four small businesses in the East African economy only have cash to cover two months of requirements, Njoroge said, citing an April survey.

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Zambian president Edgar Lungu’s government has hired Lazard to advise on restructuring the cash-strapped southern African nation’s $11bn foreign debts that have threatened to become Africa’s first sovereign default during the coronavirus pandemic, the Financial Times reported. The investment bank was hired on a $5m contract to advise on “liability management” of the country’s debt after a tender process, the Zambian ministry of finance said on Wednesday.

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South African Airways (SAA) can still be saved if it gets the necessary funding, the state-owned airline’s administrators said on Wednesday, adding they were talking to the government about a potential restructuring, Reuters reported. The comments in a letter to affected parties seen by Reuters mark a shift in tone from a recent appearance before a parliamentary committee, when the administrators said a wind-down of the business was a probable outcome.

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