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铜价飞涨,这个非洲穷国有望摆脱巨额债务

铜价飞涨,这个非洲穷国有望摆脱巨额债务

David Meyer 2021年09月16日
赞比亚希望到2026年将铜矿年产量从2020年的88.2万吨提高到200万吨。

非洲的第二大铜生产国赞比亚背负着数十亿美元的债务,新总统制定计划希望摆脱债务,具体来说就是停止借贷,加大开采力度。

在五次竞选总统失败后,哈凯恩德·希奇莱马今年8月终于成功当选为赞比亚总统。2017年,他曾经因为没有给该国的前总统埃德加·伦古的车队让路而被判“叛国罪”入狱。

新总统上任后,首要任务是查明自己的国家到底背着多少债务。2020年,赞比亚GDP缩水近5%,也是新冠疫情期间非洲第一个违约的国家。原因在一定程度上是近年来铜价低迷导致偿债更加困难,从中也能够看出赞比亚参与中国“一带一路”基础设施倡议后的借贷水平。赞比亚的官方债务总额为127亿美元(其中约30%的外债欠中国),但希奇莱马等人怀疑实际规模更大。

想摆脱庞大的债务就需要重组,而重组需要彻底摸清问题的规模,还需要一定程度的信誉。分析师预计,放贷机构将同意普遍资产减值。不过希奇莱马领导的自由党派,也就是所谓的国家发展联合党(United party for National Development)承诺的“加速经济复苏”可以大大推动偿债进程。

“我们的政府承诺立即停止过度的公共支出,防止债务进一步增加。”9月10日,新总统在赞比亚新一届议会首次会议上表示。他承诺未来更详细报告债务,“确保充分披露并加强公共投资管理”。

希奇莱马说:“利用采矿业的机会对经济复苏至关重要。我们将确保提升铜和其他矿产的产量,最大限度地利用黄金、钴、锰等各种矿产,还将进一步加强勘探和增值服务。”

该国的财政部希望到2026年将赞比亚的铜矿年产量从2020年的88.2万吨提高到200万吨。如果实现,赞比亚将成为仅次于智利和秘鲁的全球第三大铜生产国。

铜需求

今年以来,铜价上涨了26.6%,涨幅超过黄金、白银和铂金,铜价上涨有望推动希奇莱马的复苏计划。近年来,特别是随着可再生能源基础设施和电动汽车的兴起,铜需求不断增加,而需求增加恰好赶上铜投资不足造成的供应短缺,铜投资不足的情况相当普遍,远不只赞比亚。

之前的伦古政府与嘉能可(Glencore)等矿业巨头的关系十分紧张,希奇莱马将需要努力弥合关系。

2020年4月,新冠疫情爆发铜价走低时,嘉能可宣布因不可抗力暂时关闭了赞比亚铜矿带省的矿山。伦古政府的回应是威胁撤回采矿许可证,最终嘉能可以1美元的价格向该国政府出售了在莫帕尼矿(Mopani)的多数股权,在此过程中,赞比亚政府也额外承担了15亿美元债务。

9月10日,希奇莱马表示情势趋向稳定。“为了确保采矿业投资可预测且持续,政府将与利益相关方协商,审查采矿税政策框架。”他说,“此举的目标是制定稳定的矿业税制度,增加行业投资。我们将确保本国人民从矿产财富中享受公平的收益。”

矿业界对希奇莱马的话反响热烈。“本次选举改变了行业规则。”矿业商会(Chamber of Mines)的首席执行官戈德温·比内告诉路透社(Reuters)。

绿色能源

希奇莱马还表示,政府将加快推动赞比亚向绿色能源过渡,水电只是途经之一。就在8月大选前,前总统伦古刚批准了一个20亿美元的水电项目,将由中国水利水电建设股份有限公司利用中国资金建设,但希奇莱马迫切希望寻找替代方案,“缓解气候变化对水力发电的负面影响。”

他说:“我们将推动赞比亚成为全球环境可持续的灯塔,甚至是绿色经济的捍卫者。必须保护生态系统,保护自然栖息地,防止更多碳进入大气层。”

希奇莱马重建赞比亚环境部也可能影响采矿业,环保人士表示,预计赞比亚政府将吊销前一届政府在国家公园和其他敏感地区颁发的采矿许可证。

希奇莱马曾经是“牧童”,如今是赞比亚最大的牧场主之一,尽管他的大量财富来自金融、房地产和其他领域,却一直在努力推动农业部门改革。他希望推动作物多样化(目前,玉米是赞比亚的主要农作物);建立牲畜养殖中心;推动水产养殖业发展。(财富中文网)

译者:冯丰

审校:夏林

非洲的第二大铜生产国赞比亚背负着数十亿美元的债务,新总统制定计划希望摆脱债务,具体来说就是停止借贷,加大开采力度。

在五次竞选总统失败后,哈凯恩德·希奇莱马今年8月终于成功当选为赞比亚总统。2017年,他曾经因为没有给该国的前总统埃德加·伦古的车队让路而被判“叛国罪”入狱。

新总统上任后,首要任务是查明自己的国家到底背着多少债务。2020年,赞比亚GDP缩水近5%,也是新冠疫情期间非洲第一个违约的国家。原因在一定程度上是近年来铜价低迷导致偿债更加困难,从中也能够看出赞比亚参与中国“一带一路”基础设施倡议后的借贷水平。赞比亚的官方债务总额为127亿美元(其中约30%的外债欠中国),但希奇莱马等人怀疑实际规模更大。

想摆脱庞大的债务就需要重组,而重组需要彻底摸清问题的规模,还需要一定程度的信誉。分析师预计,放贷机构将同意普遍资产减值。不过希奇莱马领导的自由党派,也就是所谓的国家发展联合党(United party for National Development)承诺的“加速经济复苏”可以大大推动偿债进程。

“我们的政府承诺立即停止过度的公共支出,防止债务进一步增加。”9月10日,新总统在赞比亚新一届议会首次会议上表示。他承诺未来更详细报告债务,“确保充分披露并加强公共投资管理”。

希奇莱马说:“利用采矿业的机会对经济复苏至关重要。我们将确保提升铜和其他矿产的产量,最大限度地利用黄金、钴、锰等各种矿产,还将进一步加强勘探和增值服务。”

该国的财政部希望到2026年将赞比亚的铜矿年产量从2020年的88.2万吨提高到200万吨。如果实现,赞比亚将成为仅次于智利和秘鲁的全球第三大铜生产国。

铜需求

今年以来,铜价上涨了26.6%,涨幅超过黄金、白银和铂金,铜价上涨有望推动希奇莱马的复苏计划。近年来,特别是随着可再生能源基础设施和电动汽车的兴起,铜需求不断增加,而需求增加恰好赶上铜投资不足造成的供应短缺,铜投资不足的情况相当普遍,远不只赞比亚。

之前的伦古政府与嘉能可(Glencore)等矿业巨头的关系十分紧张,希奇莱马将需要努力弥合关系。

2020年4月,新冠疫情爆发铜价走低时,嘉能可宣布因不可抗力暂时关闭了赞比亚铜矿带省的矿山。伦古政府的回应是威胁撤回采矿许可证,最终嘉能可以1美元的价格向该国政府出售了在莫帕尼矿(Mopani)的多数股权,在此过程中,赞比亚政府也额外承担了15亿美元债务。

9月10日,希奇莱马表示情势趋向稳定。“为了确保采矿业投资可预测且持续,政府将与利益相关方协商,审查采矿税政策框架。”他说,“此举的目标是制定稳定的矿业税制度,增加行业投资。我们将确保本国人民从矿产财富中享受公平的收益。”

矿业界对希奇莱马的话反响热烈。“本次选举改变了行业规则。”矿业商会(Chamber of Mines)的首席执行官戈德温·比内告诉路透社(Reuters)。

绿色能源

希奇莱马还表示,政府将加快推动赞比亚向绿色能源过渡,水电只是途经之一。就在8月大选前,前总统伦古刚批准了一个20亿美元的水电项目,将由中国水利水电建设股份有限公司利用中国资金建设,但希奇莱马迫切希望寻找替代方案,“缓解气候变化对水力发电的负面影响。”

他说:“我们将推动赞比亚成为全球环境可持续的灯塔,甚至是绿色经济的捍卫者。必须保护生态系统,保护自然栖息地,防止更多碳进入大气层。”

希奇莱马重建赞比亚环境部也可能影响采矿业,环保人士表示,预计赞比亚政府将吊销前一届政府在国家公园和其他敏感地区颁发的采矿许可证。

希奇莱马曾经是“牧童”,如今是赞比亚最大的牧场主之一,尽管他的大量财富来自金融、房地产和其他领域,却一直在努力推动农业部门改革。他希望推动作物多样化(目前,玉米是赞比亚的主要农作物);建立牲畜养殖中心;推动水产养殖业发展。(财富中文网)

译者:冯丰

审校:夏林

Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, Zambia, is buckling under billions of dollars in debt, and its new President has a plan to get out from underneath it: stop borrowing so much, and mine harder.

Hakainde Hichilema was elected in August—a triumph that followed five failed attempts at the presidency, and a 2017 spell behind bars for “treason” after the tycoon failed to give way to the motorcade of now–former President Edgar Lungu.

The new President entered office with the task of finding out just how much debt the country has. With its GDP shrinking nearly 5% in 2020, Zambia last year became the first African country to default during the pandemic. This was partly owing to depressed copper prices in recent years, which made debt-servicing harder, but it was also a function of Zambia’s level of borrowing under China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative. Zambia’s debt pile is officially $12.7 billion, with around 30% of its external debt being owed to China, but Hichilema and others suspect it’s actually bigger.

Climbing out from under that pile will require restructuring, which will in turn require transparency about the size of the problem, plus a degree of goodwill: Analysts expect to see lenders agreeing to widespread haircuts. But the effort would be greatly aided by the “accelerated economic recovery” that Hichilema, whose liberal party is called the United Party for National Development, is promising.

“Our administration commits itself to immediately stop excessive public expenditure as a way of halting further accumulation of debt,” the new President said on September 10, opening a new session of the Zambian Parliament for the first time. He promised better reporting of debt in the future so as to “ensure full disclosure and strengthen public investment management.”

“Harnessing the opportunities available in the mining sector will be crucial to our economic revival,” Hichilema said. “We will ensure increased copper and other mineral production, as well as maximizing the benefits from various minerals such as gold, cobalt, manganese, among others. We will also promote further exploration, as well as value addition.”

The finance ministry wants to boost the country's annual copper output from 882,000 tons in 2020 to 2 million tons by 2026, which would propel Zambia to the No. 3 spot in copper production, behind Chile and Peru.

Copper demand

With copper prices up 26.6% year to date, a rise that has bested gold, silver, and platinum, a copper boom will help Hichilema’s recovery plan. Copper is in increasing demand these days, particularly owing to the rise of renewable-energy infrastructure and electric vehicles, and this increased demand has coincided with a lack of supply resulting from an underinvestment in copper that extends far beyond Zambian borders.

But Lungu’s government had a fractious relationship with mining giants such as Glencore, a relationship that Hichilema will have to work to heal.

In April 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and copper prices were low, Glencore declared force majeure and temporarily shuttered its mines in Zambia’s Copperbelt province. Lungu’s government responded by threatening to take away the company’s mining license, and Glencore ended up selling the government its majority stake in the Mopani mine for $1—in the process saddling it with an extra $1.5 billion in debt.

On September 10, Hichilema signaled greater stability. “To ensure predictable and sustained investment in the sector, government, in consultation with stakeholders, will review the mining tax policy framework,” he said. “This is aimed at introducing a stable mining tax regime necessary to increase investment in the sector. We will ensure that our people receive their fair share from our mineral wealth.”

The mining sector greeted Hichilema’s words warmly. “This election was a game changer for the industry,” Chamber of Mines CEO Godwin Beene told Reuters.

Green energy

Hichilema also said his government would step up Zambia’s own transition to green energy, and not only by using water. Just before the August election, Lungu green-lit a $2 billion hydropower project, to be built by China’s Sinohydro using Chinese funding, but Hichilema is keen on alternatives that will “cushion the country from the negative effects of climate change on hydroelectricity generation.”

“We shall make Zambia a global beacon for environmental sustainability and indeed a champion of the green economy,” he said. “We must safeguard ecosystems, protect natural habitats, and keep carbon out of the atmosphere.”

Hichilema’s reestablishment of Zambia’s environment ministry could also affect the mining industry, with environmentalists saying they expect his government to revoke mining licenses granted in national parks and other sensitive spots under the previous administration.

Hichilema, a former “cattle boy” who is these days one of Zambia’s biggest ranchers—though his wealth also comes from work in finance, property, and other sectors—is also pushing hard for reform in the agricultural sector. He wants to diversify crop production that is currently heavily focused on corn; build out breeding centers for livestock; and boost the aquaculture industry.

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