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Lusa - Business News - Mozambique: Deal on $900m debt 'to normalise relations with markets' - creditors

Washington, Nov. 7 (Lusa) - The representative of the group of creditors who this week signed an agreement of principle with Mozambique’s government to restructure its public debt has told Lusa that the move should pave the way for the country’s return to the financial markets.
"The proposed resolution will help normalise Mozambique's relations with international financial markets and will also offer a way to achieve long-term growth," said Thomas Laryea on Wednesday, in reply to questions put by Lusa about the deal, which was announced by Mozambique’s Ministry of Finance on Tuesday.
The legal representative of the group of holders of the public debt in question said that its outstanding value is currently $915.9 million (€798 million), made up of $726.5 million in debt issued in 2016 and $189.4 million in unpaid interest due. "The 'haircut' foreseen under the deal will be the difference between the initial amount in debt plus interest and the amount of the new issuance of 900 million, that is, 15.945 million dollars," he explained, so acknowledging that just short of $16 million owed to date is to be pardoned.
Asked about the criticism that Mozambique will end up paying much more than the amount contracted when the debt was issued, Laryea replied that creditors "will not comment on the valuation of terms referred to in the principle agreement. However, we recall that aggregating payments without any context is highly misleading, because a dollar paid in 2033 is worth less than a dollar paid in 2019."
The agreement "is forward-looking because it recognises the limited payment capacity in the short term, allowing for 1.05 billion dollars in financial relief up to 2023, which is worth 85% of the amount owed," Laryea stressed.
The preliminary agreement, he noted, also "recognises the great improvement in Mozambique's payment capacity after 2023, based on economic improvements and in gas revenues in the long term.”
Mozambique on Tuesday announced a preliminary agreement with holders of 60% of its oustanding Eurobonds - public debt denominated in dollars – under which the country is to resume payments as soon as March 2019 and hand over 5% of the tax revenues from sales of natural gas (which is to start being pumped from 2022) until 2033.
The Eurobonds account for about $725 million of the total of some $2 billion of the controversial ‘hidden debt’ - illegally contracted by public enterprises in 2013 and 2014, with state guarantees unbeknownst to parliament – and are the only portion of the debt on which there is already preliminary agreement, subject to several approvals.
The new debt securities issued under the deal are to have a nominal value of $900 million, maturing on 30 September 2033, with a coupon of 5.875%, lower than the current rate of over 10% on the basis of which Mozambique was forced to default.
Separately, Standard Bank said in a note on Tuesday's agreement that the deal could foster transparency in the management of gas revenues.


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2018-11-08 08:22:40


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