SUN BUSINESS writes@SunZambia
BONDHOLDERS are still willing to continue discussions with the Zambian government in order to reach a consensus and avoid legal action, Finance minister Bwalya Ng’andu has told Parliament.
Dr Nga’ndu also revealed that government was worried that if it fails to pay the coupon of US$42.5 million for the three Eurobonds debt the bondholders might take legal action against Zambia.He however said if such action happens government would put up a legal team to defend Zambia.But Dr Ng’andu said that Government want to avoid any legal action by engaging with the bondholders.He said this in Parliament in a ministerial statement.The minister said it was important that government continued to engage the bondholders in order to avoid legal ac-tions.Dr Ng’andu said a legal suit would also dent the image of the country especially to the creditors“We were supposed to pay the coupon on 14 November 2020 but we didn’t because we were still engaging the bondholders and we were very sure that they would accept our proposal. But unfortunately after engaging the bond-holders they raised some issues, claiming that if they give Zambia a standstill, we might use the same Eurobonds to pay the commercial creditors.,” he said.“So they rejected our proposal and we couldn’t pay the coupon. Not paying the coupon has consequences because the bondholders might take legal action and this will not send a good signal to other creditors,” he saidHe said government would do all it can to ensure that a concrete solution came to fruition.
He said government would provide all necessary information about the debt and fiscal situation in the country in order to convince the bondholders.