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Critical Zambian Bondholder Vote to Take Place Today

File photo of Zambian president Edgar Lungu. GULSHAN KHAN / AFP

A coalition of Zambian bondholders is expected to cast their votes today (Wednesday) to decide on whether or not to grant the government a six-month repayment holiday on $3 billion of Eurobond notes, according to sources quoted by Bloomberg.

Results are scheduled to be revealed on Friday but based on reporting from both Bloomberg and Reuters, sources close to the bondholder group indicate they are widely expected to vote no.

Bondholders remain unsatisfied with the lack of transparency regarding Zambia debts to Chinese lenders and the government’s apparent inability or unwillingness to reach a debt restructuring deal with the IMF.

If this group of bondholders refuses to grant a repayment extension, then Zambia would formally be in default on those debts as of Saturday, making it the first African country to default this year.

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