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With China on Their Minds, Zambia’s Bondholders Reject Appeal for Repayment Extension

Zambia on Saturday became the first African country this year to default on a portion of its debt after a coalition of bondholders refused the government’s request for a 6-month repayment holiday. 

The government said it cannot pay the $42.5 million that was due this weekend to bondholders given that it’s committed to treating all of its creditors the same. “They will not support the standstill or consent solicitation and, given our precarious position that requires us to treat all creditors equally, we have no other alternative but to accumulate arrears,” Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu said.

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