Zambia Hires Lazard to Advise on $11 Billion Debt Burden

Zambian president Edgar Lungu’s government has hired Lazard to advise on restructuring the cash-strapped southern African nation’s $11bn foreign debts that have threatened to become Africa’s first sovereign default during the coronavirus pandemic, the Financial Times reported. The investment bank was hired on a $5m contract to advise on “liability management” of the country’s debt after a tender process, the Zambian ministry of finance said on Wednesday. Lazard, which is also advising Argentina’s government on its current debt restructuring talks with creditors, declined to comment. Africa’s second-biggest copper exporter is seeking voluntary relief from private creditors to avert default as its debts have become increasingly precarious, and as a condition of being able to access loans from the IMF to respond to the pandemic. Read more