Standard Chartered bank loans Zambia $134 million

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The Zambian government is set to get a sum of US$134 million from Standard Chartered bank to fund road developments.

The loan is the second the bank has arranged for the government since a $450 million syndicated deal in the first half of 2016.

The government has so far acquired five new loans worth $296 million since the first half of 2017, taking its external debt to $7.4 billion.

Zambia, Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, is in talks to secure a $1.3 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, and plans to present an economic program to the lender’s board by the end of the year.

The country’s economy was severely affected by a slump in commodity prices as copper exports dipped in 2016 and the first half of 2017.

In 2015 too, Zambia’s economy took a huge hit, prompting President Edgar Lungu to lead the nation in nationwide prayers for the kwacha.

The currency had been on a free-fall, losing 45% versus the US dollar.

Things got much better in 2016 as the kwacha gained impressively against the dollar in 2016, making the currency one of the world’s best performers.

Permanent Secretary at the finance ministry, Mukuli Chikuba, said plans for the latest borrowing were included in the 2017 budget.

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