Zimbabwe gets loan to pay US$1,7 billion AFDB, World Bank debt

Source: Zimbabwe gets loan to pay US$1,7 billion AFDB, World Bank debt | The Financial Gazette May 11, 2017

ZIMBABWE has secured a syndicated loan put together by the African Export-Import Bank that will enable it to clear US$1,7 billion of arrears with the World Bank and African Development Bank.

The funds will allow the southern African nation to settle US$1,1 billion it owes in interest and penalties and some principal debt to the World Bank and US$601 million to the AFDB, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said.

He didn’t name the lenders but said the rate on the loan is cheaper than that charged by the World Bank.
“It should reduce our country-risk profile and also make us eligible for access to soft windows of those institutions we need new inflows,” Chinamasa said in an interview in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.

“It also opens up to other institutions to do business with us, also make us able to access international

Chinamasa has been leading efforts to revive the country’s struggling economy and tap fresh financing from the International Monetary Fund. The economy has halved in size over the past 16 years, and the population is struggling with a shortage of cash, with banks limiting customer withdrawals.

Zimbabwe has paid the US$110 million it owes the IMF, the minister said. As of October, the country owed lenders including the IMF, World Bank and AFDB about US$9 billion, according to the finance ministry, and missed a US$1,8 billion payment in June.

The nation abandoned its own currency in April 2009 as runaway inflation rendered it worthless, opting instead for a basket of currencies that includes U.S. dollars, South Africa’s rand, the pound and Botswana’s pula.

Rand Options

A shortage of banknotes has become so dire that business are offering huge discounts to cash-paying customers, limiting the amounts they can charge on credit cards or refusing to accept them altogether. The central bank has introduced dollar- pegged bond notes that citizens dub “zombie currency.”

The liquidity crisis “is temporary,” Chinamasa said. “We have to find ways to make rand more available. We would like a situation where we borrow in rands from South Africa, pay back in the same currency. We will continue to engage them.”

Zimbabwe conducts 60 percent of its trade with South Africa, the continent’s most developed economy, Chinamasa said.

The economy is forecast to expand 3.7 percent in 2017 from 1.7 percent last year, supported by agriculture, he said. The International Monetary Fund sees growth of 2 percent next year,
it said in a report this week. – Bloomberg 


  • comment-avatar
    Chiwaridza 5 years ago

    What is confusing is that the Minister has secured a loan to pay off another loan ? How does this help the country, it is simply swopping one debt for another…. stupidity !!

  • comment-avatar
    Diasporan 5 years ago

    Typical ZANU PF b__s__t, it’s all fake news, notice how the idiot Chinamasa didn’t name the lenders. Which lender would be stupid enough to give a loan to pay off another a loan and give a loan to a bankrupt government with no currency of their own? It’s a joke.