Govt settles $34mln Zimplats debt with TBs

Govt settles $34mln Zimplats debt with TBs

HARARE, December 1 (The Source) – Government has issued treasury bills to settle a $34 million debt owed to Zimplats by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the platinum miner said on Thursday.

The miner was among the many corporates and individuals who had their foreign currency accounts raided by the RBZ at the height of Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation period between 2006 and 2008.

During that period the central bank, which was effectively running the country’s budget, says it used the cash to fund government operations, including fuel and power imports as well as the purchase of farm implements doled out to newly resettled farmers.

The purchases were part of the bank’s quasi-fiscal activities which analysts say helped fuel hyperinflation, which peaked at 500 billion percent in December 2008 according to the IMF.

Government Last year promulgated the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Debt Assumption) Act, 2015 in August which allowed the state to take over the debts estimated at $1 billion.

“Zimplats wishes to announce that the $34 million has been validated and reconciled by the Government of Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and that the Government of Zimbabwe has now issued to the operating subsidiary three treasury bills with a total nominal value of $34 million in settlement of the principal amount owed by the RBZ,” Zimplats said in a statement on Thursday.

The three instruments of $11, 376 million each carry an annual interest of  five percent and have maturity dates of October 31, 2019; 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Zimplats is 87 percent owned by South Africa’s Impala Platinum.