Creditors and government of Mozambique may reach an agreement this year

14 September 2018

Negotiations between the Mozambican government and the bondholders of Mozambican tuna company Ematum may be concluded later this year, the Economy and Finance minister said on Thursday in Maputo.

Adriano Maleiane revealed that on 1 August the Ematum creditors presented a counterproposal to the proposal put forward by the Government on 20 March 2018 and added: “our advisors are assessing the document.”

The minister, who was speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony of the new governing bodies of the Institute of Internal Auditors, said he was convinced that the parties are moving towards solving the problem, according to Mozambican newspaper Notícias.

The Debt Commission, which brings together sovereign debt holders, proposed to the Mozambican government the payment of US$200 million by 2023, with the remainder being delivered from that date on the basis of fiscal revenues from natural gas projects – scheduled to start production in 2022.

The Commission is made up of a group of creditors that claims to represent more than 70% of the total sovereign debt of US$727.5 million issued in 2016 following the conversion of state-backed bonds issued by Ematum.

Ematum was set up in 2013 to fish for tuna in the country’s territorial waters, after which it took on a US$850 million state-backed loan, which used in part to buy 24 tuna ships from a shipyard in France, as well as military equipment.

In December 2017, US businessman Erik Prince, president of Hong Kong-based Frontier Services Group, signed an agreement with the Mozambican government to establish a partnership to recover Ematum. (macauhub)