Zambia ready to launch $500 million eurobond, has a B credit rating
Dr Musokotwane told Reuters in an interview the rating will also help Zambia attract more investors, stating that investors who did not know about Zambia will now be interested because of the rating.
He explains that with this rating it means Zambia is now ready to issue the $500 million international bond.
Zambia has been contemplating a foreign currency bond issue for several years although its plans were blown off course by the global financial crisis.
The rating given to Zambia Africa’s biggest copper producer is the same as that assigned last year to Angola, the continent’s second-biggest oil producer.Nigeria, Africa’s leading crude producer, also has a B rating.
Fitch said the ratings reflect the marked improvement in Zambia’s economic performance since 2003 driven by improved macroeconomic stability, economic liberalisation, rising private investment and production in the mining sector, and more recently, a strong agricultural performance.
Zambia’s resilience in the face of the global economic crisis gave further support to the credit assessment. The economy has grown at an average of 6.3 percent a year since 2006 and accelerated to 7.1 percent in 2010, Fitch said.
The agency also noted falling inflation and strength and stability in the kwacha currency as pillars of the country’s growing economic stability.
Standard & Poors and Moodys are also expected to announce ratings soon./QFM