Zambia’s bonds more attractive

Govt securities sustain offshore interest

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BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes

ZAMBIA’S bonds and treasury bills have become more attractive due to positive sentiments from offshore players on the market.

Appetite for government securities to date stands at 130 percent for treasury bills (with the last seven debts sales oversubscribed) while that of bonds rallied to 43 percent from below 30 percent.

Additionally, this is supported by an 86 percent subscription improvement in the sixth fixed auction of the year where the central bank raised K818.5mln. Risk skew remains towards treasury bills than bonds.

This sentiment is a very good driver and is making Zambia’s assets attractive, says Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) National Secretary Mutisunge Zulu.

“This is coming from the fact that Zambia has taking the right steps towards re-profiling its debt, the debt restructuring by Lazard, is very good.

“At the same time, the International Monetary Fund being given the mandate to commence talks with Zambia over a bailout package and this has boosted sentiments,” Mr Zulu said in an interview.

Mr Zulu who is a financial analyst, explained that the global economy had liquidity with low interest rates looking assets to house.

Zambia’s assets, he said, were becoming attractive and that was why offshore players were interested in buying.

“We are very upbeat, we are very bullish, and we wait for any progress when to come to debt restructure.

“I know the Finance Minister has been in talks with the G20 over debt suspension and structure has been put in place and we are asking for suspension for more than one year, if this goes through, it will be breathing space for Zambia to get back to its feet especially after Covid-19,” Mr Zulu said.

Mr Zulu also said the current move by the Bank of Zambia to grow its balance sheet provided an opportunity to pay suppliers in outstanding arrears, which represented the liquidity that the real sector had been starved of.

“You should understand that quantitative easing is common practice by Central Banks in times of crisis. The United States, Bank of England and people’s Bank of China have also done it, so it is nothing new.

“In crisis time, there are measures where the Central bank will step in and that is how the K6.8 billion came up,” he said.

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