Zimbabwe’s external debt soars

Zimbabwe’s external debt soars

Source: Zimbabwe’s external debt soars | The Financial Gazette March 8, 2018

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ZIMBABWE’S external debt increased three percent to $11,3 billion last year, nearly 80 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), as punitive interest on arrears exacerbated pressure, latest Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) data shows.

The country has witnessed rapid expansion in its foreign debt since adopting a hard currency regime in 2009, when external debt amounted to $6,1 billion at the close of that year.

Zimbabwe’s external debt has grown largely due to new payment arrears and interest and penalty charges on existing payment arrears.

Although the central bank did not give figures of external debt already overdue for payment, Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, last year revealed that foreign debt arrears were at $5,1 billion, a sign of significant debt distress.