Zambia has picked French company Lazard Freres to provide advisory services regarding liability management for its debt portfolio, Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba said on Wednesday.
The finance ministry said in March it was looking for financial advisers to help ensure the sustainability of its debt and manage any loans maturing from next year and beyond.
The proposed contract is a maximum of $5 million, which is negotiable by mutual agreement and payable based on work done in three years, Yamba said in a statement.
"The government of Zambia intends to use the services of the financial advisers in line with signed agreements with lenders - multilateral, bilateral and private," Yamba said.
Zambia's public debt is on an unsustainable path, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Director of Communications Gerry Rice told a news conference on May 21, while noting the government's commitment to restore debt sustainability through fiscal policy adjustment and debt management.
Even before the coronavirus outbreak forced lockdowns across the globe, crimping international demand for raw materials, Zambia, Africa's second largest copper producer, had been wrestling with growing public debt.
(Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Mark Heinrich)