Ghana: IMF bailout not off the table

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GHANA

IMF bailout not off the table

Ghana had not excluded the option of seeking a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help finance its budget and current account deficits, Finance Minister Seth Terkper said yesterday in Maputo, where he is attending an IMF conference. He said the government was assessing whether measures put in place to help narrow the fiscal shortfalls had been effective. – Bloomberg

MALAWI

Poll stand-off deepens crisis

Malawi’s political impasse following a disputed election threatens to deepen an economic crisis in a nation already reeling from a freeze in donor aid that funds 40 percent of the government’s budget. Yvonne Mhango, an economist at Renaissance Capital, said yesterday: “Donors are waiting for some sort of political resolution. They want to know who the new government is going to be before they can sit down with them to talk about some sort of way forward.” The International Monetary Fund and other donors suspended as much as $120 million (R1.3 billion) in aid during the second half of last year after reports that almost a third of state funds were being pilfered. – Bloomberg

ZAMBIA

Inflation stays at 7.8% in May

Consumer inflation was unchanged from last month at 7.8 percent year on year this month, Zambia’s Central Statistical Office said yesterday. On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices rose by 0.9 percent after a 0.7 percent increase in April. The copper-exporting nation recorded a lower trade surplus of 43 million Zambian kwacha (R64m) last month from 79.9 million kwacha in March, it added. – Reuters

ZIMBABWE

Interbank loan market restarts

Zimbabwe had re-introduced interbank lending five years after it was abolished as a step toward boosting confidence in the financial system, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said yesterday. The country had secured a $100 million (R1 billion) loan from the African Export-Import Bank to recapitalise the interbank market, he said. Zimbabwe became the only multi-currency economy in February 2009 when inflation of as much as 500 billion percent forced it to abandon its dollar. – Bloomberg


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