Africa

Zambia, which Moody’s Investors Service cut further into junk this weekend, wants help to refinance its first Eurobond that matures in 2022, President Edgar Lungu said during a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Bloomberg News reported. “$750 million is almost due for repayment, and I think we would seek assistance in that respect,” he said in comments broadcast over state-owned TV on Saturday.
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A court in Ivory Coast has ordered the liquidation of SAF-Cacao, the top exporter in the world-leading cocoa grower, over debts owed to the Coffee and Cocoa Council (CCC) marketing board, the company’s chief executive told Reuters. The court order was issued on July 18 and an administrator has already been named to manage the process, Ali Lakiss said by telephone from the company’s headquarters in the second port city of San Pedro, Reuters reported. “We are still fighting to survive,” he said.
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Lenders in Ivory Coast are lobbying the government to help turn around the liquidation of one of the country’s biggest cocoa exporters that has left banks exposed to more than $260 million in unpaid debt, according to three people familiar with the matter. An application for the liquidation of Saf-Cacao was granted last week in a court in the western town of Sassandra, said the people, who asked not to be named because they’re not authorized to speak publicly about the matter, Bloomberg News reported.
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The Republic of Congo's state-owned insurer paid its first claims in eight years after selling real estate and is planning more property disposals to help recapitalize the business, Bloomberg News reported. Assurances et Reassurances du Congo, which owes claimants 7 billion CFA francs ($12 million), stopped payments in 2010 after the company struggled to reconstitute files damaged in a civil war a decade earlier.
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Steinhoff International Holdings NV has replaced Dirk Schreiber on the boards of two key units as the embattled retailer seeks to bolster independent oversight. The owner of Conforama in France and Mattress Firm in the U.S. last week won support from a majority of creditors to restructure its 9.4 billion euros ($11 billion) of debt, a vital step toward its recovery from an accounting scandal, Bloomberg News reported.
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South Africa is getting down to the business of fixing its debt-ridden state power utility. Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. had 399 billion rand ($30 billion) of debt at the end of March, according to Bloomberg data, and has been flagged by ratings companies as a key risk to South Africa’s economy, Bloomberg News reported. The utility has been mired in a series of scandals, struggled to raise funds and was forced to implement rolling blackouts last month after wage talks with unions broke down.
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Steinhoff's creditors have agreed to hold on their debt claims for three years, the embattled retailer said on Friday, throwing a lifeline for the South African retailer caught in the throes of an accounting scandal, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. The parties will now seek to implement the restructuring within three months, the retailer, which has more than 40 retail brands including Conforama, Poundland and Mattress Firm, said.
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Two United Arab Emirates airlines have held talks with South African Airways about a partnership that it says is needed to revive its business, City Press reported, citing the U.A.E. ambassador to South Africa. Talks between Emirates Airline and SAA, which have been going on for some months, are being facilitated by the U.A.E.’s embassy in Pretoria, the Johannesburg-based newspaper cited Mahash Alhameli as saying, Bloomberg News reported. Etihad Airways has also been holding separate negotiations with SAA, he said.
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Steinhoff International Holdings NV won support from a majority of creditors to restructure its 9.4 billion euros ($11 billion) of debt, seen by the embattled retailer as a vital step toward its recovery from an accounting scandal, Bloomberg News reported. The owner of Conforama in France and Mattress Firm in the U.S. sought a three-year extension to payments due to lenders and bondholders as the South African company repairs its balance sheet.
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Zambia has seen ‘unprecedented infrastructure’ development in the last six years but at what cost to the economy? In Zambia’s past, debt has been a millstone which has held the country back. The current situation of rising fiscal deficits and public debt coupled with increased spending and flat revenues is a recipe for economic disaster. In recent years, public debt is once again rising at a significant pace, The Mast reported. Maintenance of debt sustainability will remain pivotal in the rebalancing of the Zambian economy.
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