Home Business and Technology IMF sees possible bailout for Zambia

IMF sees possible bailout for Zambia

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International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it still hopes to reach a deal with Zambia before the August elections on an economic program that will form the basis of the nation’s planned debt restructuring, Bloomberg reports.

Africa Director Abebe Aemro Selassie said talks that began last year are continuing, and the Washington-based lender aims to conclude them in the next few weeks.

“I hope we can move forward by reaching agreements, and get broad endorsements of political leaders,” he said. “But that will depend on agreeing on the parameters of the program, and we are not just there yet.”

While the polls that will probably be closely contested are set for August 12, the Constitution stipulates that Parliament, and by extension President Edgar Lungu’s Cabinet, must dissolve about three months before that, suggesting a deal may need to be agreed by May 14.

Zambia’s $1 billion of Eurobonds due 2024 extended gains on Thursday, rising by as much as 1.2% to 59.57 cents on the dollar, the highest since March 5. Africa’s second-biggest copper producer last year became the continent’s first pandemic-era defaulter.

External commercial creditors, including those holding the nation’s $3 billion of Eurobonds, want the government to reach a deal with the IMF, which they will then base their restructuring talks on.

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