Standard Bank defends full disclosure of Kroll audit report on Mozambique debts

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Standard Bank yesterday said in Maputo that the release of the full audit report on Mozambique’s hidden debts would be an example of transparency and would help to build trust in the country.

“The basic principle that must be defended in Mozambique and in any part of the world is the principle of transparency,” Standard Bank’s chief economist in Mozambique, Fáusio Mussá, said on the sidelines of an economic conference promoted by the institution in the Mozambican capital.

Fáusio Mussá argued that transparency on the issue of hidden debts would increase investor confidence in Mozambique.

“Transparency increases confidence in the country,” he said.

The disclosure of the audit report summary, said Fáusio Mussá, was very positive, but doubts remain regarding the position that the creditors of Mozambique, financial institutions and donors will assume on the subject.

“Is this going to make it easier to negotiate with the country’s creditors? Will this ease an agreement for a program with the International Monetary Fund? There are still a number of questions,” he observed.

Mussá stressed that Mozambique needed to restore creditors’ trust, so that they can would give the country more time and permit more flexible debt service terms.

“The most important thing here is not the [debt] ratio itself, but debt service and how much resources does the country needs” to meet the payments. “And all studies indicate that the way the country has to pay this debt now is unsustainable,” he says.

The Mozambican Attorney General’s Office released a summary of the Kroll audit of the two billion dollars that the previous Mozambican government secretly endorsed between 2013 and 2014.

According to the attorney general, “gaps remain in the understanding of how exactly the US$2 billion was spent, despite considerable efforts” to clarify the issue.

Source: Lusa

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