By Mailesi Banda

ZAMBIA has the potential to get up to US $1.6 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and we are going for the maximum, Finance Minister Felix Mutati has announced.

According to Bloomberg financial services, the finance minister said he was hopeful that the opportunity was presented to the country since discussions of getting a loan from the IMF have been ongoing since 2014.

Mr. Mutati said Zambia’s debt had increased and this was putting pressure on the Treasury, adding that external debt had increased to US $6.9 billion, which was more than
double the level in 2012.

“The Government has sold US $3 billion in euro bonds, the most recent being US $1.25 billion in 2015. We are therefore not in a hurry to issue another, and won’t do so this year,’’ he said.

He said yields on the country’s three dollar bonds fell, with the rate on the USD 1 billion of debt due in the month of April of the year 2024, declining 11 basis points, the most since April 5.

He said the yields on the 2022 bond dropped 13 basis points, the most since March 16th.

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