Sudan

In the hazy world of distressed debt trading, the fall of Sudan’s autocratic ruler of 30 years, Omar al-Bashir, has sparked fresh interest among traders and holders of the country’s long-defaulted debt, Reuters reported. Following weeks of demonstrations kindled by soaring food costs, high unemployment and increasing repression, 75-year-old Bashir was overthrown on Thursday by the military, three decades after himself seizing power in a coup. The newly ruling military council on Friday promised a transition to an elected civilian government.

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A group of hedge funds has hired one of the world’s most prominent sovereign debt lawyers in the hope of restructuring up to $8bn in Sudanese debt if the former pariah state’s relations with the US continue to improve, the Financial Times reported. Lee Buchheit, a senior partner at law firm Cleary Gottlieb, has been brought on board to advise a clutch of London-based funds who are owners of unpaid debt that has been racking up interest since the 1980s.

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Sudan’s government wants its $38 billion debt forgiven by international lenders before it separates from an independent Southern Sudan, said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported. “A substantial portion of it should be forgiven so their limited resources are not going out to rich nations, who I think can certainly afford the debt,” Carter told reporters today in Juba, capital of the semi-autonomous region of Southern Sudan. Southern Sudan began a weeklong referendum on Jan.
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