Chad agrees debt plan with creditors, including Glencore, minister says

November 11, 2022 08:47 PM AEDT | By Reuters
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(Adds Glencore comment)

By Mahamat Ramadane

N'DJAMENA, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Chad has reached agreement on a plan with creditors, which includes Swiss commodities trader Glencore, for its $3 billion external debt, which could pave the way for more IMF funding.

The deal, outlined by Chad's finance minister Tahir Hamid Nguilin on Friday, is the first to be agreed under a framework created by the Group of 20 major economies in late 2020 to help poor countries to weather the COVID pandemic and widely criticised for delays in granting applicants debt relief.

The minister's statement confirms an earlier Reuters report that creditors had reached an agreement in principle. It is also China's first participation in a finalised joint debt treatment deal with other creditors, a source close to the negotiations told Reuters.

A third of the central African country's external debt of nearly $3 billion is commercial and concentrated in an oil-backed loan from Glencore.

"The parameters of this debt treatment are in line with the commitments made by Chad under its ECF (Extended Credit Facility) programme with the IMF as well as with the principles of the Common Framework and make it possible to restore the sustainability of the public debt," the minister's statement said.

"We are pleased that all stakeholders have agreed on how Chad's external debt should be treated," a Glencore spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Chad said the agreement with both bilateral and commercial creditors will allow for another disbursement from its $572 million, four-year Extended Credit Facility programme with the International Monetary Fund by the end of December 2022, pending IMF approval.

Chad's bilateral creditors - China, France, India and Saudi Arabia - said in October that the country did not currently require debt relief given higher oil prices, but pledged to reconvene and offer Chad help if needed.

The IMF said earlier this month that it could not make more disbursements to Chad from the ECF program that began in 2021 until a "contingent" debt relief deal was agreed by creditors.

Chad's statement did not specify the terms of the debt relief agreement.

A spokesperson for the IMF was not immediately available for comment. The Paris Club was also not immediately available for comment on Friday. (Reporting by Mahamat Ramadane Writing by Nellie Peyton and Rachel Savage Editing by David Goodman and Jane Merriman)


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