26 April 2018

Zimbabwe May Start $3.5bn Wealth Fund Later This Year

Photo: The Herald
Terence Mukupe

Zimbabwe may start a sovereign wealth fund or issue an export-related bond after elections that are slated for July, Deputy Finance Minister Terence Mukupe told the southern African nation's state-broadcaster Tuesday.

The indebted nation, which saw its economy halve between 2000 and 2013, is struggling to access cash to revive ailing industries and rebuild aging infrastructure.

"Post-election, we should be able to put in place a sovereign wealth fund or an export-related bond and we think we should be able to raise between $2.5 billion and $3.5 billion anchored on trade receivables," Mukupe told the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp.

The bonds would be repaid in annual installments of $140 million to$150 million, Mukupe said. Calls to his mobile phone for additional comment weren't answered.

The country also is set expected to reap diplomatic and economic rewards from re-joining the Commonwealth, with its bid boosted by the backing of its return to the club it left in 2003 by Britain as President Emerson Mnangagwa continues with his international re-engagement thrust to boost trade and investment ties with global forces.

The country had become alienated under former leader Robert Mugabe who embarked on a land expropriation without compensation exercise in 2000. He was also accused of rights abuses and together with poor economic policies, this saw the international community severe ties with Zimbabwe.

Mnangagwa is now pursuing a different foreign policy thrust, pivoted around the new government's "Zimbabwe is open for business" and international re-engagement exercise, which have seen him travel as far afield as China, across Africa and now the Commonwealth.

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