Congo to Cancel Unclaimed London Club Debts, Ministry Says

Democratic Republic of Congo will cancel debts to any banks that are part of its London Club of creditors if they are unclaimed by April 30, the Ministry of Finance said.

“Congo asks all banks holding debt in the context of the London Club to come forward by April 30, 2012, at the latest,” Finance Minister Matata Ponyo wrote in letter dated Sept. 19 and published on the central bank website today. “After that, all undeclared debt will be considered null and void.”

Congo is trying to clear its debts to the group of commercial banks after the International Monetary Fund and World Bank approved a package to relieve the country of about 90 percent of its $13.7 billion external debt in July 2010. London Club debts were about $81 million at the time, according to a 2010 IMF report. The total could fall to about $6 million after negotiations with the banks are finished, the report said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael J. Kavanagh in Kinshasa at mkavanagh9@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

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