Paris Club cuts Ivory Coast's debt burden

Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:43am GMT
 

PARIS (Reuters) - The Paris Club of creditor nations said members agreed on Tuesday to reduce the Ivory Coast's foreign debt burden and said reforms underway should lead to further relief.

The West African nation's creditors in the Paris Club agreed to reschedule the repayment of some of the country's debts over a 10-year period. Repayment of arrears on those payments were rescheduled over eight years.

The informal grouping of creditor governments said in a statement that the measures would reduce the country's debt service payments and arrears due by the end of June 2014 by $1.8 billion. Of that amount, $397 million would be canceled.

Ivory Coast is rapidly recovering after last year's disputed election reignited a civil war that killed some 3,000 people and displaced more than 1 million.

"Participating creditors noted that following the crisis that the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire has gone through, the Government has quickly revived economic activity and resumed negotiations with the Paris Club," the statement said.

The government "is resolutely implementing its reform program," the statement said, adding that this should open the door to a final round of debt relief from Paris Club members.

The Ivory Coast owed Paris Club members an estimated $7.2 billion in nominal terms as of July, according to the group.

The International Monetary Fund approved a new $615.9 million, three-year loan agreement for the Ivory Coast on November 4, saying the government's investment and structural reform programs would help underpin robust growth in the medium term. For details, see

Ivory Coast Finance Minister Koffi Diby said on November 8 that the government aimed to secure an IMF-backed accord for further debt relief in the second half of 2012.

The country defaulted on its $2.3 billion Eurobond during a four-month post-election crisis which ended in April.

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara appears on the French TF1 television prime time evening news show September 13, 2011 in Paris.   REUTERS/Fred Dufour/Pool
 
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