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GOVERNMENT’S DEBTS SHOOT TO E12.9 BILLION

By Hlengiwe Ndlovu | 2018-07-15

AS at 30 June, government’s debts amounted to E12.9 billion, which is an equivalent of 20.8 per cent of the country’s GDP.

These figures, which were released by the Central Bank of Eswatini (CBE) in its Recent Economic Developments report, reflect an upward growth trend in total public debt which increased from E12.8 billion in May.

Government’s external debts stood at E5.2 billion at the end of June, an equivalent of 8.5 per cent of GDP. This reflects a four per cent increase in government’s external debt.

 The CBE cites a number of reasons for this increase, one of which is the slight depreciation of the lilangeni against the US dollar and other major currencies in which the country’s liabilities are denominated.

Domestic debt, on the other hand, remained the same as in May at E7.7 billion, an equivalent to 12.3 per cent to GDP.

In the meantime, the Central Bank issued E150 million bonds on behalf of government. The bonds were issued in three tranches of E40 million for five-Year bond; E40 million for seven-year bond; and; E70 million for 10-year bond. Coupon rates for the bonds were fixed at 9.25 per cent, 9.75 per cent and 10.25 per cent, respectively. After exercising the green-shoe option, the amount on offer for the five-year bond was revised to E120 million.

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