Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba has picked French company, Lazard Freres, to provide advisory services regarding liability management for its debt portfolio.
Mr Yamba released a statement late on Wednesday after a leaked memo from Ministry of Finance showed that Lazard Freres had been provisionally awarded the contract,
Zambia had issued a call for financial advisors to help it restructure its debt and manage any loans maturing from next year and beyond.
This was after a Cabinet decision made in December 2019 to engage financial advisors in Zambia’s quest to strengthen liability management of the debt portfolio.
“In accordance with the Public Procurement Act No. 12 of 2008, the Government, in March 2020, then issued a request for proposals for advisory services in relation to the liability management of its debt portfolio. The tenders were received from six (6) strong and competitive bidders, namely:
Deustche Bank and Rothschild & Company
Absa Bank and Barclays Bank PLC
White Oak Advisory Limited; and,
“A thorough evaluation process of the tenders from the above-listed organisations was undertaken to select financial advisors for liability management of Zambia’s debt portfolio. The evaluation was completed according to the Public Procurement Act No.12 of 2008 and a notice of intention to award the tender to the best-evaluated bid was circulated to all bidders on Tuesday 26 May 2020. The notice expires on Friday 29 May 2020.”
“In the notice, all the bidders have been informed that the best-evaluated bid selected by the Ministry of Finance Tender Committee was from LAZARD FRERES OF FRANCE.”
Mr. Yamba said the proposed contract amount for the best-evaluated bid is a maximum of Five-Million United States Dollars which is negotiable by mutual agreement, and payable based on work done over a period of three (3) years.
“Under the Public Procurement Act No. 12 of 2008 as read with Public Procurement Regulations, 2011, the bidders, not selected, have the right to raise any issue they may have on the outcome. This is also in conformity with the Government’s commitment to strengthen transparency and accountability in public procurement,” he said.
“As we have done in the past, the Government of Zambia intends to use the services of the financial advisors in line with signed agreements with lenders; multilateral, bilateral and private.”
“I take this opportunity to restate that the Government has no intention of unilaterally restructuring debt without consulting creditors. We will respect agreements and diligently use market-based instruments in our debt management.