Mining company Vedanta and its Zambian unit Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) said they were seeking urgent talks with the Zambian president following a high court order on Tuesday to appoint a provisional liquidator, Reuters reported. The news has rattled foreign investors already nervous governments in central African countries are seeking a much bigger share of resource revenues, which they say will discourage investment the region desperately needs.
Zambia, which the International Monetary Fund has warned is at high risk of debt distress, contracted an additional $2.6 billion of new external loans last year, according to the Finance Ministry, Bloomberg News reported. If the funds are disbursed, they’ll increase the southern African nation’s external debt to $12.7 billion, from $10.1 billion at the end of 2018. The new loans suggest the government is too complacent about rapidly increasing debt risks, Gregory Smith, fixed-income analyst at Renaissance Capital in London, said by email.