Tanzania's shilling woes raise national debt

The weakening shilling has impacted negatively on the national debt, raising the value of both external and domestic debts, the Central Bank has said.

It said in its latest monthly economic review that the external debt stock reached 15,362.4 million US dollars at the end of August 2015, an increase of 88.1 million US dollars from the preceding month and 1,268.6 million US dollars from the end of August 2014.

Both the annual and monthly changes were explained by exchange rates fluctuation and new disbursements, the bank said.

Central government debt, which accounted for 79.3 per cent of the external debt, increased by 51.5 million US dollars in August 2015 to 12,185.6 million US dollars, mainly due to disbursements.

On annual basis, the central government external debt increased by 1,055.0 million US dollars.

In terms of currency composition of government’s disbursed outstanding debt, a large proportion was denominated in Special Drawing Rights (SDR) at 48.8 per cent, followed by debt denominated in US dollar at 33.6 per cent.

The impact of exchange rate fluctuations of US dollar against other currencies on government disbursed outstanding debt was an increase of 8.9 million US dollars in August 2015.

New disbursements received during the month amounted to 55.1 million US dollars out of which 47.5 million US dollars was received by the government.

Disbursements received during the year ending August was USD 2,005.3 million, out of which 1,794.7 million US dollars was received by the government.

During August 2015, external debt payments were 18.4 million US dollars, out of which 13.5 million US dollars was principal repayments and 4.9 million US dollars was interest payments. 

Debt service during the year ending August 2015 was 409.8 million US dollars. The Central Bank says further that domestic debt stock increased to 7,783.3bn/- from 7,499.7bn/- at the end of July 2015, on account of government financing needs. On annual basis, the debt stock increased by 403.1bn/-.

Treasury bonds accounted for the largest share of 70.4 per cent of the outstanding domestic debt, followed by Treasury bills at 26.3 per cent.
Source: Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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