Ivory Coast wins over $4 bln IMF/WB debt relief


Ivory Coast will receive more than 2.15 trillion CFA francs in debt reduction after meeting conditions under the IMF-World Bank Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) scheme, both institutions said in a statement.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank said their boards had approved a reduction of $3.1 billion in debt owed by Ivory Coast, which represents a 24 percent reduction of the west African nation’s external debt.

The statement from the institutions added that the world’s top cocoa-producing nation would get a further $1.3 billion under an initiative of multilateral debt relief, Reuters reports.
“The boards of both institutions have established that the country has made ??good progress regarding the requirements for reaching the completion point under the HIPC Initiative,” IMF and World Bank said in a joint statement.

IMF and the World Bank said reforms in post-conflict Ivory Coast including in the cocoa sector, poverty reduction scheme and a stable macroeconomic policy, had enabled the country to meet requirements for the funds.

Completing the reform will also enable Ivory Coast to resume paying coupons on its defaulted Eurobond.

The 2017 $2.3 billion Eurobond went into default during a four-month civil war following a disputed presidential election in late 2010.

The country has since missed payments on three coupons in 2010 and 2011. It is scheduled to pay its next coupon on June 30 and has pledged to make a good-faith payment on arrears on July 2.
“Reaching the completion point will also help Ivory Coast normalise relations with its external creditors. Although this will increase debt service payable in the medium term, it will also help catalyze further support from donors and potential investors,” Doris Ross, IMF mission chief for Ivory Coast said in the statement.