Johannesburg – The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will examine debt-crippled OPEC member, Congo Republic’s request for a bailout on July 6, an IMF calendar showed on Wednesday.
Like other central African oil producers, Congo has been hit hard by low crude prices and is struggling under the weight of over $9 billion in debt, equivalent to around 110 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP).
An IMF delegation, following a mission to Congo in April, said it had reached broad understandings on policies it could support within the framework of an arrangement under the Fund’s Extended Credit Facility.
However, before it could submit a deal to the board, the delegation said Congo would need to fulfil conditions, including making progress toward restructuring debt the fund considered unsustainable.
Congolese authorities are currently in talks with creditors, including trading houses Trafigura and Glencore (GLEN.L), from which it has borrowed around $2 billion.
Congo joined OPEC recently as it moves ahead with new projects that could see it become sub-Saharan Africa’s third-largest oil producer with a target of 350,000 barrels per day this year.