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Zambia finance chief targets IMF programme by year-end

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Zambia finance minister said that IMF officials visited Zambia in November and are due to return in March for three weeks, where the package will be on the agenda.

Thursday 07, February 2019

(Bloomberg) --Zambia’s Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe said that she’s in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about securing a financial package and has taken the necessary steps to ensure the southern African nation qualifies for support.

“I would want to see a programme with the IMF, I think it would be good for us,” Mwanakatwe said in an interview in Cape Town on Tuesday. “I would love to see something in place by the end of the year. That is why we put in place various measures to ensure that we have a way forward that is sustainable debt-wise.”

Zambia’s efforts since 2016 to secure a $1.3 billion loan from the Washington-based lender have been stalled by concerns over its borrowing plans. While the yield on the government’s $1 billion of notes maturing in 2024 has dropped 275 basis points this year to 13.02 per cent, its spread over US Treasuries remains the highest in emerging markets among countries that aren’t in default.

She ruled out any possibility of Zambia defaulting on its foreign debt.

“At that meeting we hope we can come to a meeting of minds as to what exactly they would require from us in order to engage for a programme,” she said.

TAGS : IMF, Zambia

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