Rating agency Fitch says it expected Zambia to default on its government debt in the coming months, having become locked in a row with its creditors over delaying some of its bond payments.

Zambia’s finance ministry issued a statement on Tuesday repeating a request for a number of its debt payments to be deferred until April 2021.

Creditors rejected the original request, which is known as a consent solicitation.

There have “been a record four sovereign defaults in 2020. We expect Zambia to become the fifth following its ‘consent solicitation’ on deferring interest payments on Eurobonds until after March 2021,” said Ed Parker, one of Fitch’s top sovereign analysts.

Zambia’s bonds continued to fall on Thursday having slumped heavily on Wednesday as the stand-off between the government and private-sector creditors intensified.

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