Economic Statistician Shebo Nalishebo says there is no Zambian financial advisory firm or political party with a track record to be able to pull off the kind of debt restructuring that Government needs.
And Mr. Nalishebo says Zambia needs an experienced negotiator such as Lazard Freres of France, one of the financial companies in the business to help in restructuring its debt servicing.
Mr. Nalishebo says the type of restructuring required, is debt rescheduling or refinancing which involves a change in an existing debt contract and replacement by a new debt contract.
He told ZNBC news in a statement that Lazard Freres of France helped to convince 86 percent of bondholders of Ivory Coast debt to agree to amended payment terms in 2012.
Mr. Nalishebo said Mozambique’s national oil company also sought the services of Lazard Freres to help raise as much as two billion United States dollars to refinance gas development projects in 2018.
He said countries need a financial advisor with clout and experience in dealing with other financial institutions who may be the holders of their economies for bondholders to agree to new terms.
On Wednesday, Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba said Government intends to use the services of the financial advisors in line with signed agreements with lenders; multilateral, bilateral and private.
He restated that Government has no intention of unilaterally restructuring debt without consulting creditors.
Mr. Yamba said the decision to engage fresh advisors followed the expiry, in 2019, of the mandate given to previous advisors.
He said a thorough evaluation process of the tenders from the organisations was undertaken to select financial advisors for liability management of Zambia’s debt portfolio.
The evaluation was completed according to the Public Procurement Act Number 12 of 2008 and a notice of intention to award the tender to the best evaluated bid was circulated to all bidders on Tuesday 26 May 2020 and expired on Friday 29 May 2020.