Zambia warns it is preparing for default

“Zambia has warned it is ready to become the first African country to default as a result of the coronavirus pandemic if investors in its $3bn worth of US dollar bonds reject a request by the southern African nation to suspend payments.”

via Financial Times

G20 readies limited extension of debt relief for poorest nations

“The G20 group of wealthy nations is preparing to extend its offer of debt relief for the world’s poorest countries into next year, but faces a growing chorus of criticism for its limited ambition in the face of a mounting crisis in emerging economies.”

via Financial Times

Emerging economies plead for more ambitious debt relief programmes

“Financial assistance for cash-strapped governments has so far fallen well short of what is needed — and of what advanced economies have been willing to do for themselves — according to critics.”

via Financial Times

Ghanaian finance minister: Africa deserves more COVID-19 help

“Africa has recorded more than 1.5m cases and counting, though in terms of infections and deaths, we have fared better than most regions. Our economies, however, have not been spared. Across the continent, governments are facing falling revenues, rising expenditures, increasing debt distress, and significant reversals in development indicators.”

via Financial Times

Funders find ways to offer capital in emerging markets, despite COVID-19

“Impact investors can only ever hope to make a small dent in emerging markets but they have created debt vehicles to support small and midsize groups, often by providing funds to companies that serve or invest in such businesses. Some have also adjusted fundraising efforts that existed before the pandemic to reflect the new reality.”

via Financial Times

COVID-19 will push millions in middle-income nations into poverty, warns World Bank

“The economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic will change the profile of global poverty by creating millions of ‘new poor’ who are relatively well-educated in urban areas of middle-income countries.”

via Financial Times

Bondholders balk at Zambian debt delay plans

“Foreign bondholders are minded to block Zambia’s plans to suspend interest payments without assurances of equal treatment with large lender China, say people familiar with their plans, indicating that the test case for a potential string of pandemic-related defaults across Africa could prove contentious.”

via Financial Times

Good policy and good luck explain Africa’s low virus toll

“Africa has defied predictions that COVID-19 would rip through the slums of its crowded cities, killing hundreds of thousands of people. A combination of good policy and good luck means that most of Africa’s 54 countries have so far avoided the worst of the pandemic.”

via Financial Times

Zambia headed for Africa’s first COVID-19-related debt default

“Zambia has asked investors in its U.S. dollar bonds to accept delays in their interest payments into next year, in what would be the first African debt default on private creditors since the pandemic.”

via Financial Times

African countries ‘ready to open our doors again to the world’

“All over Africa, encouraged by low or declining death and infection rates, countries are tentatively opening up in the hope of reviving pandemic-scarred economies. With significant variation from country to country, schools are reopening, curfews and travel restrictions are lifting, and markets are getting back to full capacity.”

via Financial Times