Finance minister wants debt service costs reduced

The minister said Zambia's government has stopped issuing guarantees to commercially viable projects

Finance minister wants debt service costs reduced

The minister said Zambia's government has stopped issuing guarantees to commercially viable projects

15 June 2018 Friday 13:49
Finance minister wants debt service costs reduced

DEBT service cost is too high for the Zambian government, Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

She said her government has canceled some of the contracted loans yet to be disbursed in order to reduce the debt service cost.

Mwanakatwe said in a statement that the Zambian government has sought to refinance on selected bilateral loans in order to extend the maturity profile and attain lower costs on debt.

The measures, she said, were undertaken based on a debt sustainability analysis that confirms a need for the African country to bring down the debt risk to a moderate level.

The minister said Zambia's government has stopped issuing guarantees to commercially viable projects, and letters of credit and guarantees to technically insolvent state-owned enterprises.

Moreover, it has indefinitely postponed the contraction of all pipeline debt until the debt was brought back to a moderate risk of distress.

Mwanakatwe said Zambia's fiscal deficit for 2018 was estimated to likely surpass the 6.1 percent projected in the budget, due to continued borrowing pressures relative to expected revenue.

Zambia's growing debt has been a source of major concern, delaying a financing deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The government's revised figures show Zambia's external debt stood at 9 billion U.S. dollars at the end of March 2018, compared to 8.7 billion dollars at the end of December 2017.

Keywords:
Zambia
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