IMF sees Zambia agreement with official creditors ‘within a few days’

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund is encouraged by the progress in discussions between Zambia and its official creditors, and an agreement could be reached “within a few days,” the fund said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We are very encouraged by the significant progress being made in discussions between official creditors and Zambia on a potential debt treatment,” a spokesperson for the fund wrote.

“We expect an agreement could be reached within a few days, which would allow the Executive Board consider the first review of the Fund-supported program within a few weeks.”

The IMF said in early April that the next $188 million payout from a $1.3 billion support loan to Zambia was contingent on the government’s reaching an agreement with its creditors.

Zambia’s hopes of restructuring about $12.8 billion of external debt have been hampered by the concerns of its main creditors about the required scale of relief.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos and Rachel Savage; Editing by Leslie Adler)