China Tightens Lending Taps, Leaving African Markets Vulnerable

Developing countries in Africa are losing a champion that for years allowed them to borrow at cheaper rates than they could find in capital markets, Bloomberg News reported. China, Africa’s largest bilateral creditor, has been scaling back lending in the region amid its worsening growth woes. That comes at a time of rising interest rates globally and shrinking liquidity, factors that have already sent bonds of the riskiest African borrowers such as Ghana and Zambia crashing, and currencies including South Africa’s rand to near pandemic lows. The evolving debt dynamics with Beijing -- whose lending is focused toward long-term infrastructure projects -- threaten to push reluctant governments into the arms of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank for balance of payments support. Economic programs from the fund often restrict commercial borrowing, and require Chinese lenders to sit around the restructuring table with Western lenders. Read more.
Location