Zambia’s finmin says to continue engaging IMF on debt management

(FILES): This April 5, 2007 file photo shows the International Monetary Fund logo at IMF headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. The IMF announced November 2, 2009 the sale of 200 tonnes of gold to India's central bank, nearly half the amount targeted for sale over the coming years to shore up IMF finances. The total sales proceeds are equivalent to 6.7 billion dollars, the IMF said. AFP PHOTO / Files / TIM SLOAN (Photo credit should read TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambia will continue to engage the IMF on debt management after the international lender dismissed the nation’s latest debt management plans, its finance minister said on Thursday.

The IMF last week said it had rejected Zambia’s latest borrowing plans as they risk making it harder for the country to sustain its debt load. It was the second time the IMF had rejected a Zambian proposal.

In August 2017, it also turned down borrowing plans it said threatened debt sustainability.

Finance minister Margaret Mwanakatwe said the government of the southern African nation was developing a financing profile addressing development aspirations without compromising debt sustainability.

“Once our new strategy has been completed, I will be engaging the IMF to obtain their concurrence,” Mwanakatwe said in a statement.

Mwanakatwe said the government would continue to implement its economic stabiliastion and growth programme, whose pillars include debt management.

“In this regard, we will continue to engage the IMF on a similar basis with respect to debt management,” she said.

The government had started the preparations to address the repayment of Eurobonds, including addressing the liquidity risks at the time of repaying or refinancing the Eurobonds, she said.

Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by James Macharia

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