Bondholders split on Zambia debt breather

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By Mariam Meskin
24 Sep 2020

Zambia’s request to defer payment on $3bn of its Eurobonds is the first potential default by an African government during the coronavirus crisis. The process has been poorly managed, say sources close to the matter, throwing into doubt Zambia's chances of winning leniency, the vital first step to avoiding a messy hard default. Mariam Meskin reports.

Zambia this week asked its bondholders' consent to defer three coupon payments until April 2021. The bonds affected are its $750m 5.375% 2022, $1bn 8.5% 2024 and $1.25bn 8.97% 2027.

The Eurobonds have fallen in trading since Tuesday's announcement. On Thursday evening, the 2022 notes were trading at 54/55.30, ...

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