Mozambique has hired Lazard Ltd. as a financial adviser to help assess its foreign debt as it struggles to service borrowings by state-owned companies.
The ministry of economy and finance also appointed White & Case LLP as a legal adviser, it said in a statement e-mailed by Lazard’s London-based spokesman, Richard Creswell. The two will “assist the ministry with the assessment of Mozambique’s current external debt situation,” according to the statement.
“The ministry has started to work closely with its advisers, and looks forward to engaging collaboratively in the near future with the various stakeholders of Mozambique,” the statement read.
Donors and the International Monetary Fund suspended aid to Mozambique in April after it owned up to $1.4 billion of undisclosed borrowing by the interior ministry and two state-owned security companies, Proindicus and Mozambique Asset Management. The southern African country, one of the world’s poorest, is struggling to repay its debt after a commodity slump reduced export revenue and a depreciation of the metical, which has lost half its value against the dollar since the start of 2015, boosted the cost of foreign loans.
Yields on Mozambique’s $727 million Eurobond due in January 2023 fell 3 basis points to 18.37 percent in Maputo, the capital, by 10:47 a.m. They’ve risen almost 600 basis points since news of the secret loans broke.