U.S. $1 Billion Bond to Steady Economy, Says Yamba

ZAMBIA’S economy is headed out of turbulence following the recent issuance of the US$1billion Sovereign Bond, Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba has said.

Mr Yamba said the international investor community had shown positive response to the issuance of the Bond.

“The economy is heading out of turbulence as attested by the positive response of the international investor community following the issuance of the US$1 billion Sovereign Bond.

“The ratings of International Rating Agencies, Standard amp Poor’s and Fitch are also positive factors to consider,” he said.

Mr Yamba said the country’s external debt obligations remained on course and that this was consistent with the need to maintain credit worthiness and safeguard macroeconomic stability through debt sustainability.

Mr Yamba said this in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday issued by Ministry of Finance public relations officer Chileshe Kandeta.

He said as at end of March, 2014, external debt stood at US $3.16 billion or 15.72 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while domestic debt stood at K20.2 billion or about 16.57 per cent of the GDP.

For the period under review, total external debt service including principal and interest payments, stood at US$48.8 million of which $8.9 million was a payment made in January, $2.3 million in February, and $37.7 million in March, 2014.

During the same period, total domestic debt service involving principal plus interest payments, stood at K2.6 billion of which K930.8 million was a payment made in January, K887.3 million in February, and K830.2 million in March, this year, respectively.

Mr Yamba said both external and domestic debt levels remained below the international thresholds of 40 and 25 per cent, respectively.

“To ensure that we continue on this path, the Ministry of Finance will continue to maintain high standards of financial and economic governance,” he said.

He said precision in the implementation of development programmes overseen by relevant ministries, provinces and other spending agencies would be vital to ensure that projects, whose progress was constrained by rain, were now speedily executed in conformity with the Governments objective of widespread job-creation and poverty reduction.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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