Africa

The International Monetary Fund wants Chad’s private creditors to engage in “credible” talks before approving a much-needed support program for one of the world’s poorest countries, Bloomberg News reported. Following two months of talks, China, France, India and Saudi Arabia agreed in June to restructure the credits and back an IMF loan program to shore up the central African economy under a Group of 20 debt-relief plan. But the IMF is still seeking “a strong commitment from private creditors on their willingness to negotiate” debt treatments, it said in a statement on Tuesday.
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Following a revelation that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) incurred a N9 billion deficit in three years as a result of market meltdown by the Director-General, Alhaji Lamido Yuguda, the Senate has raised the alarm over imminent insolvency, if nothing was done to salvage the situation, the Nigerian Daily Post reported. Yuguda explained that the global economic meltdown occasioned by coronavirus has affected the fortunes of Securities and Exchange Commission.
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South Africa said the private group looking to take a majority stake in the country’s dormant national airline is close to completing due diligence ahead of a planned resumption of flights later this month, Bloomberg News reported. The Takatso consortium has yet to identify any material issues that would scupper the South African Airways deal, the Department of Public Enterprises said in a presentation to lawmakers on Wednesday. The group is made up of Johannesburg-based Global Airways, which owns new domestic airline Lift, and private-equity firm Harith General Partners.
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Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema’s government is trying to uncover the full extent of its obligations as it prepares to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund and begin talks to revamp the African nation’s debt, Bloomberg News reported. Hichilema’s landslide victory in the election last month placed him in control of an economy with a “bigger hole” than he envisaged, having last year become Africa’s first pandemic-era sovereign defaulter.
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Ethiopia doubled the statutory reserve requirement for commercial lenders and increased the amount of foreign currency they must remit to the central bank, in an effort to rein in inflation, Bloomberg News reported. From Sept. 1, the reserve requirement will increase to 10%, according to Fikadu Digafe, the National Bank of Ethiopia’s vice governor in charge of monetary policy and its chief economist. Banks will also be required to transfer 50% of their foreign-exchange holdings to the central bank, compared with 30% previously, he said.
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Nigeria will work with Bitt Inc as a technical partner in its bid to launch its own cryptocurrency, the "eNaira", the Central Bank said on Monday, Reuters reported. The Central Bank announced plans to launch its own digital currency later this year after Nigeria barred banks and financial institutions from dealing in or facilitating transactions in cryptocurrencies in February. Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele has said the eNaira would operate as a wallet against which customers can hold existing funds in their bank account.
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Zambia’s new finance minister plans to more than double the southern African nation’s copper output in five years and strike a financing deal with the International Monetary Fund by October, Bloomberg News reported. Situmbeko Musokotwane, who President Hakainde Hichilema appointed to the job on Friday, said an economic program with the Washington-based lender will be key to restoring the nation’s credibility and help convince external creditors to extend payment terms.
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South Africa’s economy is 11% bigger than previously estimated, after statistics authorities changed the way they calculate gross domestic product, Bloomberg News reported. GDP at current prices measured 5.52 trillion rand ($369 billion) in 2020, compared with a previous estimate of 4.97 trillion rand, said Joe de Beer, deputy director-general of economic data at Statistics South Africa, told reporters Wednesday in the capital, Pretoria. The economy remains Africa’s second-biggest, lagging behind Nigeria.
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Zimbabwe will use more than half of the $961 million allocated by the International Monetary Fund in the form of special drawing rights to support its beleaguered currency, Bloomberg News reported. The government abandoned a 1:1 peg between a precursor of the reintroduced Zimbabwe dollar and the greenback in February 2019. The currency now trades at 85.82 to the U.S. dollar and even lower on the black market, a plunge that’s made it difficult for the government to get it accepted locally, and it’s generally not tradable outside the country.
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Nigeria will return to international capital markets next month to offer a portion of its planned $6.2 billion Eurobond sale, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said, according to a Bloomberg News report. The amount to be issued will depend on market conditions, Debt Management Office Director-General Patience Oniha said on Aug. 5. “We expect to issue in September, but that will depend on the advice of book runners and financial advisers,” Oniha said in an emailed response to questions on Thursday.
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