Africa

London-based emerging market fund Gemcorp Group said on Monday it had extended a $250 million loan to Zimbabwe to help the country import essential goods like electricity, fuel and medicine, the company's CEO said. The southern African nation is facing its worst shortages of cash dollars since it dumped its own currency in 2009 in favour of the U.S. currency. This has made it difficult for companies, including mines, to pay for imports, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story.
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Nigeria’s Finance Minister Resigns

Nigeria’s finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, has resigned following allegations that she used a forged certificate to avoid participating in the country’s mandatory year of youth service, the Financial Times reported. President Muhammadu Buhari accepted her resignation and appointed Zainab Ahmed, minister of state budget and national planning, to oversee the finance ministry in Africa’s largest economy.
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China has agreed to restructure some of Ethiopia’s debt, including a loan for a $4 billion railway linking its capital Addis Ababa with neighbouring Djibouti, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Thursday. Abiy described the rescheduling as limited, but added that repayment of the railway debt has been extended by 20 years, Reuters reported. Landlocked Ethiopia and the Red Sea state inaugurated the railway in January, with 70 percent of the total cost covered through a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM).
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African leaders attending this week's summit with China don't think that cooperation between the continent and Beijing has added to their debt burden, the Chinese government's top diplomat said on Thursday. Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged $60 billion (46 billion pounds) to African nations at Monday's opening of a China-Africa forum on cooperation, matching the size of funds offered at the last summit in Johannesburg in 2015, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story.
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Investor anxiety about a missed debt payment by one of the world’s largest developing nations is jacking up the cost of credit-default swaps from the "BATS" -- Brazil, Argentina, Turkey and South Africa -- to multi-year highs, Bloomberg News reported. Argentina’s implied default probability over the next five years climbed this month to 41 percent, the highest since Mauricio Macri’s government ended the nation’s decade-long legal battle with most holdout creditors. Turkey’s implied default odds during that span rose to 31 percent, the highest since the 2008 global financial crisis.
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Steinhoff International Holdings NV ex-Chief Executive Officer Markus Jooste said the origin of the global retailer’s near-collapse was a protracted dispute with former partner Andreas Seifert, the latest example of a senior figure blaming others for the crisis, Bloomberg News reported. The legal battle with Seifert, mainly over the valuation and ownership of German furniture chain POCO, led to investigations by European regulators and tax authorities that attracted the attention of Steinhoff’s auditors at Deloitte LLP, Jooste told lawmakers in Cape Town on Wednesday.
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China is helping Africa develop, not pile up debt, a top Chinese official said on Tuesday, as the government pushes back against criticism it is loading the continent with an unsustainable burden during a major summit in Beijing. President Xi Jinping pledged $60 billion to African nations at Monday's opening of a China-Africa forum on cooperation, matching the size of funds offered at the last summit in Johannesburg in 2015, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story.
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South Africa’s unexpected slump into a second recession in almost a decade has boosted fears of another round of credit-rating downgrades that could see a sell-off in local-currency bonds, Bloomberg News reported. The cost of insuring the country’s debt against default for five years using credit-default swaps spiked to the highest since November 2016 while yields on the government’s benchmark local-currency bonds due in December 2026 rose to a nine-month high. The rand weakened the most against the dollar among major and emerging-market currencies.
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A wave of African nations looking to restructure debt with China on the eve of a major Beijing summit provides a reality check for the continent, where most countries still view Chinese lending as the best bet to develop their economies, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. China has denied engaging in "debt trap" diplomacy, but President Xi Jinping is likely to use next week's gathering of African leaders to offer a new round of financing, following a pledge of $60 billion at the last summit three years ago.
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Steinhoff's board will meet over the next two days to discuss asset sales to boost cash flow and pay down debt, its chairwoman said on Wednesday, months after creditors of the South African retailer threw it a lifeline, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. Steinhoff had been fighting for survival since December last year when it uncovered accounting irregularities that sent its shares crashing and left it scrambling for working capital.
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