Zambia's President Edgar Lungu. Photo: Reuters
INTERNATIONAL - Zambia’s dollar-denominated government bonds jumped on Monday after the country’s president sacked Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe and appointed central bank deputy governor Bwalya Ng’andu to replace her.

Zambia’s 2024 and 2027 issues, which trade at stressed levels of around 70 cents in the dollar, jumped more than 2.2 cents, according to data from Refinitiv. The 2022 bond climbed 1.4 cents.

Ng’andu will take over the management of an economy the International Monetary Fund has repeatedly warned is struggling with high debts and shrinking foreign exchange reserves.

The statement, issued on Sunday night, gave no reasons for President Edgar Lungu’s decision and there were no immediate comments from Mwanakatwe, who only took up the post last year, or from Ng’andu.

Ng’andu will take over the management of an economy the International Monetary Fund has repeatedly warned is struggling with high debts and shrinking foreign exchange reserves.

External debt rose to $10.05 billion at the end of 2018, compared with $8.74 billion a year earlier. Zambia is trying to shrink a fiscal deficit that amounted to 7.5% of gross domestic product last year.

The government also faces tensions with miners who say taxes it has imposed will stymie investment and hit output in Africa’s second largest copper producer.

REUTERS