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China the biggest lender to Mozambique at end-2018

China was the biggest single source of money borrowed by Mozambique at the end of 2018, accounting for about US$2.1 billion or 39 percent of Mozambican public-sector external debt, O País reports.

The Mozambican newspaper, citing a Mozambican government document, says Mozambican public-sector debt amounted to US$12.1 billion at the end of 2018, or 11 percent more than a year earlier, and that Mozambican public-sector external debt was US$5.4 billion, or 8 percent more.

The report says interest on 90 percent of the public-sector external debt was charged at fixed rates, 2 percentual points higher than in 2017.

The Mozambican public sector owed Swiss bank Credit Suisse US$726.5 million and it owed Portugal US$602.9 million, O País says.

In June 2018 the Mozambican state-owned news agency, AIM, quoted Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi as saying China would forgo repayment of interest-free loans to Mozambique that matured that year.