External, domestic debt still below international thresholds – Yamba

Fredson Yamba
Fredson Yamba
Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba says Zambia’s current external debt and domestic debt levels still remain below the international thresholds of 40 percent and 25 percent respectively.

Mr. Yamba has disclosed to Qfm news in a statement that the country’s external debt includes the recently issued US$ 1 billion Sovereign Bond.

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Mr. Yamba notes that government is also on course with all external debt obligations consistent with the need to maintain credit worthiness and safeguard macroeconomic stability through debt sustainability.

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He says as at the end of March, 2014, the country’s external debt stood at US$3.16 billion or 15.72% of GDP whilst domestic debt stood at K20.2 billion or approximately 16.57% of GDP.

Mr. Yamba says for the period under review, total external debt service, principal plus interest payments, stood at US$48.8 million of which US$ 8.9 million was a payment made in January, while US$ 2.3 million in February, and US$ 37.7 Million in March, this year.

And the Secretary to the Treasury notes that during the same period, total domestic debt service, principal plus interest payments, stood at K2.6Billion 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.

He says this means that the economy is heading out of turbulence as attested by the positive response of the international investor community to issuance of the USD1 Billion Sovereign Bond.

Mr. Yamba observes that the ratings actions of International Rating Agencies, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch are also positive factors to consider.

He says precision in the implementation of development programmes overseen by relevant Ministries, Provinces and other Spending Agencies will be cardinal in order to ensure that projects, whose progress was constrained by rains, are now speedily executed in conformity with the Governments objective of widespread job-creation and poverty reduction.

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