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Harare - Zimbabwe has secured a syndicated loan put together by the African Export-Import Bank that will enable it to clear $1.7billion [R23.17bn] of arrears with the World Bank and African Development Bank [AFDB].

The funds will allow the country to settle $1.1 billion it owes in interest and penalties and some principal debt to the World Bank and $601 million to the AFDB, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said. 

He didn’t name the lenders, but said the rate on the loan is cheaper than that charged by the World Bank. 

“It should reduce our country-risk profile and also make us eligible for access to soft windows of those institutions - we need new inflows,” Chinamasa said.“It also opens up to other institutions to do business with us and gives us access to international capital.”