Zambia’s New Finance Minister Wants to Restart Talks With IMF

Zambia’s new finance minister, Bwalya Ng’andu, said he wants to restart discussions with the International Monetary Fund about a bailout loan and that the government may delay the start of a controversial sales tax, Bloomberg News reported. “I will be quite keen to get us talking and see whether we can get the program,” the 64-year-old said Monday in Lusaka after being sworn in to replace Margaret Mwanakatwe, who President Edgar Lungu fired the night before. “At least we can get to some point where we are discussing constructively. There are things on our side that we need to do. Fiscal health is part of what we need to do to be able to re-engage.” Investors have reacted positively to Ng’andu’s appointment, with Zambia’s Eurobonds soaring. The price of its $750 million of securities due in September 2022 rose 5.2%, the most in more than three years, to 70 cents on the dollar, equating to a yield of 18.6%. Read more

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