Eurobonds Repayment: Limiting the Risk of Default
"In recent years, the Zambian economy has been growing strongly and the country has increasingly been faced with the need to plug huge infrastructural gaps. However, the slowing down of bilateral and multilateral financing due to austerity measures in developed economies and the World Bank’s reclassification of Zambia as a lower middle income country has led financiers to divert concessional loans to other needy countries in the low income bracket. Consequently, Zambia has had to diversify its budget and project financing options by issuing Eurobonds which are commercial borrowings by governments in currencies other than their own - in Zambia’s case, it is denominated in US dollars. The country may experience difficulty in repaying or refinancing the face value at maturity if the money is not spent in activities with high economic returns and if there are adverse changes in its exchange rate or international market conditions. The risks are already on the horizon – the recent depreciation of the Kwacha has increased debt servicing costs, while the low copper prices have reduced the much-needed export revenues used to service debt. Has Zambia dug itself into another debt hole? What measures can be put in place to mitigate the risk of a pending default?"