November 22, 2017 / 10:55 AM / in 25 days

Zambia's central bank says delayed IMF programme affecting kwacha currency

LUSAKA (Reuters) - Zambia’s central bank governor said on Wednesday the delay in reaching a conclusion for an aid programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was putting pressure on the kwacha currency.

Visitors are silhouetted against the logo of the International Monetary Fund at the main venue for the IMF and World Bank annual meeting, file. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Zambia and the IMF agreed in October to chart a new path towards debt sustainability after the IMF delayed the conclusion of talks with Africa’s No.2 copper producer, saying it was at high risk of debt distress.

The government had said it hopes to get board approval from the international lender by the end of 2017

“It is more of sentiment because the fundamentals point to continued appreciation,” central bank governor Denny Kalyalya told a media conference.

“One of the factors has been that players were looking to the conclusion of an IMF programme before the end of the year.”

The kwacha currency slid to 10.0850 per dollar on Wednesday from about 9.0000 three months ago and traders said it was due to increased dollar demand and short foreign currency supply.

Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by James Macharia

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