November 9, 2017 / 11:13 AM / in 3 years

Mozambique needs IMF, open to new probe on hidden loans - finmin

International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen at the IMF headquarters building during the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington, U.S., October 14, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

MAPUTO (Reuters) - Mozambique needs financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and is open to another investigation into $2 billion of undisclosed debt to hasten the restoration of aid, the finance minister said on Thursday.

The IMF cancelled its funding last year after the emergence of the loans to three state-owned companies that were not approved by parliament or disclosed publicly, sending the southern African nation’s currency into freefall.

“We need money, we need an IMF program, this must be clear. We need the program because all the fiscal consolidation will demand money,” finance minister Adriano Maleiane said in a panel discussion at an investment summit.

“If it’s needed, the government supports it to clarify where the money went,” he said, referring to another investigation.

The IMF said last month it was not in talks with Mozambique over a new aid programme for next year as the government was yet to explain gaps on how the previously hidden loans were spent.

An independent audit of the debt showed in June that questions remained on how the $2 billion was used and roughly a quarter of the money remained unaccounted for.

Reporting by Manuel Mucari; Editing by James Macharia

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