Zambia

Zambia may owe Chinese creditors almost double the amount the government has previously disclosed, complicating restructuring negotiations, a study found, Bloomberg News reported. The Johns Hopkins’ China Africa Research Initiative estimates the nation’s total liabilities to Chinese lenders at $6.6 billion and spread across at least 18 creditors, according to a report published on Tuesday. That compares with an official figure of $3.4 billion.
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Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema’s government is trying to uncover the full extent of its obligations as it prepares to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund and begin talks to revamp the African nation’s debt, Bloomberg News reported. Hichilema’s landslide victory in the election last month placed him in control of an economy with a “bigger hole” than he envisaged, having last year become Africa’s first pandemic-era sovereign defaulter.
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Zambia’s new finance minister plans to more than double the southern African nation’s copper output in five years and strike a financing deal with the International Monetary Fund by October, Bloomberg News reported. Situmbeko Musokotwane, who President Hakainde Hichilema appointed to the job on Friday, said an economic program with the Washington-based lender will be key to restoring the nation’s credibility and help convince external creditors to extend payment terms.
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The landslide victory for Zambian President-elect Hakainde Hichilema may help him make good on his promise to secure a much-needed deal with the International Monetary Fund to reduce debt and boost economic growth, Bloomberg News reported. Zambia’s Eurobonds and currency rallied on Monday after Hichilema beat incumbent Edgar Lungu by almost 1 million votes with nearly 60% support. The massive margin will make it easier to change policy, said Ray Jian, an emerging-market portfolio manager at Amundi Asset Management, which has an overweight position in Zambian debt.
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Zambia, which defaulted on payments to bondholders in November, is doubling down on debt with a high-stakes bet that nationalizing one of its biggest copper mines will help rescue its flailing economy,  The Wall Street Journal reported. Once seen as among the most investment-friendly countries in the region, the landlocked nation in south central Africa is the most extreme example of a wave of populist governments in mining-dependent countries that are struggling to pay the bills after borrowing for infrastructure in recent years.

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Zambia must build majority stakes in selected mines to benefit from its mineral wealth beyond taxes, President Edgar Lungu said on Thursday, as he set out an economic recovery plan after the country defaulted on a debt payment last month, Reuters reported. Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, Zambia is seeking to increase its control over the mining sector - the country’s main generator of hard currency - as it navigates a debt crisis.

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Jesuits in Africa are calling on the Catholic Church to press for better repayment terms on debt across the region after Zambia defaulted on a $42.5 million Eurobond coupon in November, America Media reported. The default sparked fears of a regional economic crisis and ripple effects on already struggling Zambians because of increased taxation and curtailed spending on social services, even as health needs increase because of the coronavirus.

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Zambian authorities formally requested a financing arrangement from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Fund said on Tuesday, to help the southern African copper producer navigate a debt crisis, Reuters reported. Zambia became Africa’s first pandemic-era sovereign default last month after it failed to pay a $42.5 million coupon on one of its Eurobonds. Zambia’s presidency released a photo of President Edgar Lungu meeting with the head of the IMF’s Africa department Abebe Selassie in the capital Lusaka on Tuesday.

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Zambia’s state mining arm ZCCM-IH plans to appeal a court ruling in favour of Vedanta , which has sought arbitration in a dispute over its jointly owned copper mine that is facing liquidation, the mining minister said. India-based Vedanta has been locked in a protracted dispute with the Zambian government since May 2019, when Lusaka appointed a liquidator for the mine. “ZCCM-IH has already indicated that they are appealing because they are not happy with the court judgment,” Mining Minister Richard Musukwa told parliament on Thursday. Last week, a Zambian court ordered a halt to liquidation

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Zambia is seeking a compromise solution with bondholders and does not expect them to seize its mining assets even though it defaulted on part of its debt last week, Mines Minister Richard Musukwa said on Thursday, Reuters reported. He also said Zambia had no plans to sell its shares in mining companies to raise cash after the country, which is Africa’s no.2 copper producer, failed to pay the $42.5 million coupon on its Eurobond debt on Friday. “We don’t expect Zambia’s assets to be auctioned or taken away,” he told a news conference.

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