July 16, 2018 / 10:09 AM / 5 months ago

IMF team due in Zambia to discuss its debt levels

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo at its headquarters in Washington, U.S., May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

LUSAKA (Reuters) - An International Monetary Fund team is expected in Zambia next week as part of consultations on the country’s debt levels, Treasury secretary general Fredson Yamba said on Monday.

In February the IMF rejected Zambia’s borrowing plans, saying they risked making it harder for the southern African country to sustain its debt load.

Copper-producing Zambia has since come up with a new debt plan it hopes will clear the way for the IMF to agree a $1.3 billion loan.

Zambia’s debt was sitting at $9.3 billion, roughly a third of its gross domestic product, at the end of March.

“We want to look at our debt figures. They submitted a number of questions, which we have responded to. We are just verifying how the numbers are seated,” Yamba told Reuters.

Yamba said the consultations would take place from July 23-28 and address Zambia’s debt, fiscal deficit and related issues though not its request for a new IMF aid program.

Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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