Ngandu Faces Rising Zambian Debt
News has been awash this week with the changing of the guard at the Ministry of Finance. Long-time favourite of the President – Margaret Mwanakatwe – seemed to run out of favour as she was removed and replaced by Bwalya Ngandu.
Although there was some light relief for Zambia’s economy with the news bonds gaining following announcement of Ngandu’s appointment, the joy is short lived.
Zambia’s external and domestic debt stock has continued to rise, with latest figures showing it stands at US$10.23 billion, this is up from US$10.18 at the end of March.
Domestic debt in terms of securities and bonds is also on the rise, increasing from K58.3 billion to K60.3 billion.
On top of this, preliminary data indicates that the economy shrunk after the first quarter.
On foreign reserves, Dr Ng’andu said external Gross Reserves as at end June 2019 remained at the same level as at end March 2019 at US $1.41 billion which is 1.6 months of import cover.
“The Government will continue with policy measures to support the build-up of reserves, which among others, will include payment of mineral royalty in US dollars and buying of foreign exchange from the market by the Bank of Zambia. Measures on gold purchases will also continue,” he said.