Public opinion affects the method of payment of the debt of Mozambican tuna company Ematum

4 June 2019

The decision to decouple Mozambique’s future revenues from the exploration of natural gas from the payment of external debts is due to its difficulty in being accepted by public opinion, said the Minister of Economy and Finance.

Minister Adriano Maleiane, quoted by Maputo newspaper Notícias, recalled that the agreement of principle reached in November 2018 mentioned an instrument indexed to gas revenues, which was scrapped in the new agreement announced last Friday.

Speaking on Saturday in the city of Beira, on the sidelines of the international donor conference for post-cyclone reconstruction in Mozambique, the minister said that to make up for the withdrawal of revenues indexed to natural gas exploration, the interest rate was revised.

The ministerial statement specifically said that Mozambique’s natural gas exploration revenues will no longer be used to pay the Eurobond loan contracted by Empresa Moçambicana de Atum under a new restructuring agreement.

The new agreement of principles sets the “main business terms of a planned restructuring of the Mozambique Bills of US$726.524 million at the rate of 10.5% maturing in 2023,” with members of the Global Group of Mozambique Bondholders (GGMB).

The new bond issue, which will replace the previous one, is worth US$900 million, maturing on 15 September 2031, a coupon rate of 5.0%, with semiannual repayment of interest and redemption in eight half-yearly installments of US$112.5 million from 2028 to 2031.

Investigations underway in several jurisdictions implicate Ematum in the financial scandal of the Mozambican State’s hidden debts in the amount of US$2.2 billion and include state-owned companies ProIndicus and Mozambique Asset Management. (Macauhub)