S&P declares Zambia in default after missed debt payment

(Agence France-Presse, Washington, 22 October 2020) Ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) declared Zambia's government in default on Wednesday, October 21, after the African nation missed an interest payment. The mineral-rich southern African country has seen its debt surge to nearly $12 billion this year as commodity prices have fallen amid the coronavirus pandemic. S&P noted that half the government's debt is owed to official creditors, including export credit agencies, while over $3 billion or 25% "is owed to various Chinese lenders including policy banks – China Exim Bank and China Development Bank – as well as private Chinese banks."