August 30, 2018 / 10:56 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Zambia's external debt jumps, hurting IMF deal hopes

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LUSAKA, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Zambia’s external debt rose to $9.37 billion by the end of June from $8.7 billion in December, the finance ministry said on Thursday, a week after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised concerns over high borrowing by the copper producer.

Zambia, Africa’s second largest copper producer, wants a $1.3 billion loan from the IMF but the chance of a deal depends its debt management plans.

The IMF said last week discussions over an aid programme were on hold because Zambia’s borrowing plans remain unsustainable.

External debt has risen to 34.2 percent of GDP against a government threshold of 40 percent, the finance ministry said in a statement. Total public debt stands at $14.6 billion, representing 53 percent of GDP. (Reporting by Chris Mfula; Writing by Joe Brock)

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