Algeria

Algeria, which hasn’t sold debt abroad in over two decades, signaled it may reverse its aversion to outside borrowing and lift some restrictions on foreign investment, Bloomberg News reported. The protest-torn OPEC member, still led by veterans of the war for independence from France waged over half a century ago, was forced to restructure billions of dollars worth of loans from foreign banks in the 1990s. While struggling to revive the economy, the government has been wary of turning to outside financing for fear it could again leave the nation beholden to others.

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Insolvent Swiss oil refiner Petroplus owes Algerian state energy firm Sonatrach over $250 million in unpaid bills, an Algerian energy sector official told Reuters. Sonatrach has not received payment for several cargoes of crude it delivered to the refiner, the source said, without specifying what action, if any, the Algerian firm planned to take to recover the money. Late last year, Petroplus said lenders had frozen a credit facility which it was using to buy crude for delivery to its refineries. It filed for insolvency protection in January.
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The Algerian subsidiary of ArcelorMittal, the iron and steel multinational, faces bankruptcy at its plant in El-Hadjar in the east of the country, a union official said Thursday, Agence France-Presse reported. "The declaration of bankruptcy is imminent. The complex is crushed under a debt of $120 million," the secretary-general of the Smain Kouadria union told AFP, Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review reported.
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