Zambia refutes offer of assets as security for Chinese loan

Zambia refutes offer of assets as security for Chinese loan

Zambia’s Finance Minister, Margaret Mwanakatwe, says the country has not offered any of its state-owned companies as collateral for borrowing.

Mwanakatwe was responding to a report this month by London-based publication Africa Confidential that said Zambia was preparing to offer its power utility to China as security against a loan.

“The Zambian Government has not offered any State Owned Enterprise to any lender as collateral for any borrowing,” Mwanakatwe said in a statement.

She also dismissed assertions in the same report that the southern African country was in talks about a debt/asset swap deal with creditors, including the Chinese.

The copper producer has made interest payments worth $341.82 million in the first half of the year, Mwanakatwe said, adding that the $489 million figure in the Africa Confidential report was false.

Zambia’s outstanding debt stood at $9.3 billion, or roughly a third of gross domestic product, at the end of March, up from $8.7 billion at the end of 2017. The IMF has said the country is at high risk of debt distress.

Agency Report

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