Zambia’s External Debt Rises to US$9.51 Billion

Zambia’s External Debt Rises to US$9.51 Billion

Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe has revealed that government has paid US$ 545. 02 million towards debt service for three quarters of 2018.

And Mrs. Mwanakatwe says the country’s external debt stock as at close of the third quarter was US$9.51 billion from US$9.37 billion at the end of the second quarter of 2018.

Briefing the media on the 2018 third quarter economic performance, Mrs. Mwanakatwe says the increase was on account of payment of some new disbursement.

She says the stock of domestic debt mainly government securities, as at the end of third quarter 2018 amounted to K54.6 billion from K51.9 billion at the end of the second quarter.

Mrs. Mwanakatwe states that a total of K647.8 billion was paid towards domestic debt service.

The Minister says government has acknowledged the rising vulnerabilities from its debt profile and is committed to implementation of austerity measure to ensure movement back to moderate debt risk distress.

She adds that verified domestic arrears as at the end of second quarter stood at K14.7 billion compared to K13.9 billion recorded at the end of first quarter in 2018.

Mrs. Mwanakatwe further states that Zambia’s total guaranteed debt stands at US$1.2 billion as at end of September 2018.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Mwanakatwe has disclosed that government has so far put US$10 million in the sinking fund for repaying the Eurobonds.

And Mrs. Mwanakatwe has disclosed that government collected a total of K38.7 billion in revenue and grants over the period January to September 2018 and was 1.1 percent higher than the target of K38.3 billion.

The minister says government expects the microeconomic fundamentals to remain stable in the last quarter of 2018 despite pressure from the recent depreciation of the kwacha and inflation.

Speaking at the same briefing, Hanai Junichi who was representing cooperating partners pledged support to government’s efforts towards developing the economy.