UPDATE 1-Mozambique to seek partial debt restructuring, says prime minister
Wed Mar 1, 2017 5:21pm GMT
MAPUTO, March 1 (Reuters) - Mozambique will seek to negotiate a restructuring of part of its debt, its prime minister said on Wednesday.
The southern African nation is struggling to repay loans of more than $2 billion that were not approved by parliament or disclosed publicly.
"We will negotiate with the creditors to restructure these debts," said Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, adding that the nation wants to honour its debts "in a balanced way", the state news agency reported.
With aid by the International Monetary Fund suspended in the wake of the unapproved loans, Mozambique's government last year said its debt was unsustainable.
Rosario also said he expected Mozambique would reach its economic growth target of 5.5 percent this year.
The nation's foreign currency reserves have increased and is now sufficient to cover five months of imports, Rosario said.
Mozambique in November appointed risk management firm Kroll to probe the state firms that hid the loans from government and international creditors.
"We all want the audit completed on time," said Rosario referring to the end-March deadline. "We are awaiting the results, but negotiations with the IMF are under way." (Reporting by Manuel Mucari; Writing by TJ Strydom; Editing by Alison Williams)