Congo

Congo Republic aims to reach a deal with energy traders Glencore and Trafigura to restructure a $1.7 billion debt before a meeting with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in April, the head of the national oil company, told Reuters. Maixent Raoul Ominga, director general of state-owned SNPC, said lawyers for Congo Republic were working with representatives of Glencore and Trafigura to get all the parties talking, Reuters reported. Glencore and Trafigura declined to comment.

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The Republic of Congo’s public debt may exceed $12.5 billion, more than a third higher than previous International Monetary Fund estimates, corruption watchdog Global Witness said, Bloomberg News reported. The debt could further complicate Congo’s three-year, $449 million loan program it began with the IMF in July. The Washington-based lender has already postponed its first review of the program while Congo restructures external commercial debt, an IMF spokesman said by email Friday before it had seen the Global Witness report.

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Talks to salvage a tentative $1.7 billion debt restructuring between Congo Republic and energy traders Glencore and Trafigura are stuck, sources said, jeopardising an International Monetary Fund bailout for the debt-hobbled nation, Reuters reported. The IMF signed off in July on a $449 million, three-year lending programme to help the central African nation’s ailing economy - but only $45 million has been disbursed with other funds subject to semi-annual reviews.

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An oil discovery in Republic of Congo could produce nearly 1 million barrels of oil per day, a company involved said on Monday, possibly quadrupling the nation’s output and propelling it into the same league as Africa’s largest producers, Reuters reported. Congo’s cash-strapped energy industry has been boosted by major recent finds from Italy’s ENI and France’s Total , lifting an economy hobbled by debt, civil unrest and corruption, and raising output to about 350,000 barrels per day.

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The IMF has been accused of ignoring big debts owed by Congo-Brazzaville as it contemplates a bailout for Africa’s third-largest oil producer, the Financial Times reported. Commisimpex, a construction company owned by a UK national, has sued the central African nation, also known as the Republic of the Congo, over unpaid bills worth €1.2bn. It has written to the IMF to demand recognition of its claims alongside Chinese lenders and oil traders before the fund releases cash for the government of President Denis Sassou Nguesso.

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Construction firm Commisimpex is calling upon the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to make settlement of its 1.2 billion euro ($1.35 billion) debt dispute with Congo Republic a precondition for a bailout deal, according to a letter seen by Reuters. Congo’s negotiations for an IMF bailout program have dragged on since 2017, Reuters reported. The Fund’s executive board is due to consider a bailout for Congo on Thursday after the government agreed to restructure a portion of its debt to China.

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Advisers to Congo Republic’s government have warned it that there is a “major risk” the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will reject its bid for a long-sought bailout, according to a letter obtained by Reuters. Negotiations for an IMF programme have dragged on since 2017, with the IMF’s executive board demanding the central African oil producer ensure the sustainability of its debt, most of which is owed to China and oil traders, Reuters reported. At the end of its most recent mission to Congo this month, an IMF team said it was finally ready to support a three-year credit facility.

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The International Monetary Fund said it wants assurances from the Republic of Congo’s creditors about how the nation’s debt will be restructured before it considers a bailout, Bloomberg News reported. The debt-laden country has been trying to secure a bailout since last year from the IMF, which has asked the government to curb rampant corruption and divulge the assets of high-level officials before providing any support. Oil-producing Congo’s economy has contracted for the past two years and it owes creditors at least 5.31 trillion CFA francs ($9.2 billion).

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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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The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund will examine debt-crippled OPEC member Congo Republic's request for a bailout on July 6, according to an IMF calendar seen by Reuters on Wednesday. Like other central African oil producers, Congo has been hit hard by low crude prices and is struggling under the weight of over $9 billion in debt, equivalent to around 110 percent of its gross domestic product, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story.
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