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Zimbabwe monetizes its platinum, sort of

Section: Daily Dispatches

Zimbabwe Uses Platinum to Pay $400 Million Afrexim Bank Debt

By Ray Ndlovu
Bloomberg News
Monday, December 4, 2023

Zimbabwe is using the proceeds of its platinum exports to settle a $400 million loan from the African Export-Import Bank as the indebted nation turns to its mineral wealth to open lines of credit.

The southern African nation's reliance on its platinum resources to secure borrowing underscores the difficulty Zimbabwe faces in getting loans from international financiers. The country is saddled with $18 billion of debt and remains ineligible to new lines of credit from multilateral lenders including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the African Development Bank.

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In February the government signed a $400 million loan from Afreximbank for budget support and the financing of trade-related infrastructure, according to the latest public debt report prepared for lawmakers by Zimbabwe's Treasury. The financing carries a 10.2% interest rate and matures in six years, with the borrowing cost increasing to 12.2% in the event of default.

"The $400 million Afreximbank loan is repaid using 35% of Zimplats' export proceeds, which are managed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe," according to the report. Platinum miner Zimplats is a unit of the Johannesburg-based Impala Platinum.

Zimbabwe's Treasury said the Afreximbank loan was "a huge success" for the government, given that it has been shunned for more than two decades by international lenders, and has limited access to external finance, especially for budget support. ...

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