Chapter

chapter iv DEBT RESTRUCTURING WITH OFFICIAL BILATERAL CREDITORS

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
March 2004
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Debt Rescheduling with Paris Club Creditors

Developments in 2001–02

During 2001–02, Paris Club creditors concluded 30 rescheduling or deferral agreements, involving debt-service obligations and arrears amounting to about

44 billion (Table 4.1). As in previous years, most of the rescheduling agreements were concluded with low-income countries, usually on concessional terms17 (Table 4.2). Most middle-income countries have graduated from rescheduling agreements with Paris Club creditors, as evidenced by the fact that there were only three rescheduling agreements with debtor countries in this category during the period under review: Jordan, Ukraine, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia18 (Table 4.3). Although the possibility of further reschedulings with middle-income countries cannot be excluded, the debt treatment offered by official creditors, as well as the progress many of these countries are making in stabilizing their economies, should make this less likely.

Table 4.1.Paris Club Reschedulings of Official Bilateral Debt, 2000–2002(In chronological order)
Debtor CountriesNumber of Reschedulings1Date of Agreement Mo/Day/YrAmount

Consolidated2

(Millions of

U.S. dollars)
Type of Debt Consolidated2,3Consolidation Period (Months)Terms4
Not previously rescheduledPreviously rescheduledGrace (Years)Maturity (Years)
2000
MadagascarVIIIAmended 11/13/0023PIALPIAL12Naples terms
Mozambique5VIAmended3/15/0071PIAL120.24.7
MauritaniaVII3/16/0098PIALPIAL36Cologne terms
DjiboutiITOR3/22/0017PIAL324.59.0
IndonesiaII4/13/005,440P243.215.0
Tanzania6VI4/13/00709PIALPIAL21Cologne terms
Sāo Tomé and PríncipeI5/16/0028PIAL37Maples terms
Bosnia and HerzegovinaIAmended7/28/009PIPI12Naples terms
Madagascar5VIIIAmended 28/18/0034PIALPIAL61.58.0
Macedonia, FYR5IITOR9/01/0046PIALPIAL121.05.5
BeninV10/24/005PI12Cologne terms
UgandaVIII9/12/00145StockCologne terms
Ecuador3VII9/15/00804PIALPI123.018.0
Burkina FasoIV10/24/002PI12Cologne terms
MaliV10/25/004PI10Cologne terms
SenegalXIII10/24/0021PI18Cologne terms
KenyaII11/15/00302PIAPIA123018.0
Nigeria6IV12/13/0023,380PIPI123.018.0
Gabon6VIII12/15/00687PIAPIAn.a.3.312.0
2001
PakistanII1/23/011,752PIA103.014.5
CameroonV1/24/011,300PIAPIA37Cologne terms
MalawiV1/25/0166PIAPI37Cologne terms
NigerX1/25/01115PIA37Cologne terms
Guinea-BissauIV1/26/01139PIAPIA37Cologne terms
Burkina FasoVAmended 17/02/011PI6Cologne terms
GeoaI3/06/0158P243.020.0
MadagascarIX3/07/01254PIPI39Cologne terms
EthiopiaIII4/05/01446PIAPI37Naples terms
GuineaV5/15/01151PIAPIACologne terms
ChadIVTOR6/12/0115PIA22Cologne terms
Yemen. Republic ofIII6/14/01420StockStockNaples terms
BeninVAmended 17/02/013PI6Cologne terms
MaliVAmended 17/02/010.56Cologne terms
BoliviaVIII7/10/01685StockStockCologne terms
UkraineI7/13/01578Stock213.512.0
Sierra LeoneVIII10/16/01177ALIPIALI36Naples terms
Yugoslavia, Fed. Rep. of5V12/28/014,309StockStock6.022.0
MozambiqueVII11/20/012,344StockStockCologne terms
GhanaII12/10/0197PIAPIA60.3Nonconcessional deferrral75.0
PakistanIII12/13/0112,444StockStock6.023.0
2002
TanzaniaVII1/17/021,245StockCologne terms
BeninVAmended 23/05/024PI6Cologne terms
Burkina FasoIVAmended 23/05/022PICologne terms
RwandaII3/07/021PI31Cologne terms
Kyrgyz RepublicI3/08/02101PIA365.020.0
Sierra LeoneVIIIAmended3/10/0235PIPI36Cologne terms
Cote d’lvaireIX4/10/021,822PIALIPIALI33Lyon terms
IndonesiaIII4/12/025,400PI215.018.0
EthiopiaIIIAmended6/18/0295PIPI29Cologne terms7
GhanaIII5/16/02164PIPI10Cologne terms
Burkina FasoV6/20/0238StockStockCologne terms
MaliVAmended 26/25/021PI12Cologne terms
SenegalXIIIAmended6/25/0211PI96.023.0
JordanVI7/10/021,171PIALIPIALI662.016.0
MauritaniaVIII7/08/02385StockStockCologne terms
ZambiaVIII9/13/02249PIPI27Cologne terms7
Congo, Democratic Republic of8XI9/13/028,163PIALIPIALI36Naples terms
Burkina FasoVAmended9/09/022StockStockCompletion point
top-up
BeninVAmended 39/18/025PI14Cologne terms9
NicaraguaV12/13/02580PILIPI36Cologne terms
Sources: Agreed Minutes of debt reschedulings; Paris Club Secretariat; and IMF staff estimates.

Roman numerals indicate, for each country, the number of debt reschedulings in the period beginning 1976. TOR = terms of reference reschedulings.

Includes debt service formally rescheduled as well as deferred.

Keys: P = principal; I = interest; A = arrears on principal and interest; and L = late interest. P, I, and A are on pre-cutoff date medium - and long-term debt.

Terms for rescheduled debt, calculated from the midpoint of the consolidation period plus six months; terms for deferred amounts, if any, tend to be shorter.

Nonconcessional deferral.

Agreement featured an entry-into-force clause.

Small amounts of pre-cutoff debt were rescheduled on Naples terms.

The agreement included a deferral of all the remaining payments due during the consolidation period.

Rescheduling with the Group of Participating Creditor Countries.

Sources: Agreed Minutes of debt reschedulings; Paris Club Secretariat; and IMF staff estimates.

Roman numerals indicate, for each country, the number of debt reschedulings in the period beginning 1976. TOR = terms of reference reschedulings.

Includes debt service formally rescheduled as well as deferred.

Keys: P = principal; I = interest; A = arrears on principal and interest; and L = late interest. P, I, and A are on pre-cutoff date medium - and long-term debt.

Terms for rescheduled debt, calculated from the midpoint of the consolidation period plus six months; terms for deferred amounts, if any, tend to be shorter.

Nonconcessional deferral.

Agreement featured an entry-into-force clause.

Small amounts of pre-cutoff debt were rescheduled on Naples terms.

The agreement included a deferral of all the remaining payments due during the consolidation period.

Rescheduling with the Group of Participating Creditor Countries.

Table 4.2.HIPCs: Paris Club Reschedulings by Type of Terms, 1976–2002
Amounts Consolidated
Number of Reschedulings1Number of CountriesTotalOf which stock operationsStock or Flow Reschedulings
(Millions of U.S. dollars)
NonconcessionalSince 19762892923,377Flow deals only
Toronto termsOctober 1988–June 199127195.984Flow deals only
London termsDecember 1991–December 199424228,774Flow deals only
Naples termsSince January 1995402725,8753,1008 stock deals
Lyon or Cologne termsSince December 1996402415,3337,49611 stock deals
Sources: Paris Club Secretariat; and IMF staff estimates.

Including subsequent amendments.

Since October 1988, 17 reschedulings involved nonconcessional treatment for 13 countries.

Sources: Paris Club Secretariat; and IMF staff estimates.

Including subsequent amendments.

Since October 1988, 17 reschedulings involved nonconcessional treatment for 13 countries.

Table 4.3.Status of Paris Club Rescheduling Countries, End-December 2002
Low-Income1Lower-Middle-Income2Other Middle-IncomeTotal
Countries that have graduated from reschedulings3
**Albania6/004Dominican Rep.12/99Algeria5/98
****Bolivia7/01Ecuador4/01Argentina3/95
**Bosnia-Herzegovina4/00Egypt5/91Brazil8/93
****Burkina Faso9/02El Salvador9/91Bulgaria4/95
**Cambodia6/97Gabon12/005Chile12/88
*Equatorial Guinea2/96Guatemala3/93Costa Rica6/935
**Haiti3/96Jamaica9/9555,7Croatia12/95
****Tanzania1/02Kenya6/017Macedonia, FYR3/004
****Uganda9/00Morocco12/92Mexico5/92
*Vietnam12/935Peru12/988Panama3/92
***Yemen, Republic of6/01Philippines7/949Romania12/83
Poland4/91Russia12/00
Trinidad and Tobago3/91
Turkey6/83
Number of countries11121437
Countries with rescheduling agreements in effect
****Benin2/03Indonesia3/024Yugoslavia, Fed. Rep. of412/01
****Cameroon12/03Jordan12/074
****Chad3/03Kyrgyz Republic12/044
***C ôte d’Ivoire3/04
***Congo, Democratic
Republic of6/05
****Ethopia3/04
Ghana11/025,6
****Guinea3/04
****Guinea-Bissau12/03
****Madagascar2/04
****Malawi12/03
****Nicaragua9/05
****Niger12/03
****Rwanda6/03
**Sāo Tomé and Príncipe4/03
****Sierra Leone9/044
****Zambia3/03
Number of countries173121
Countries with previous rescheduling agreements, but without current rescheduling agreements, which have not graduated from reschedulings
Angola9/90Djibouti6/02
**Central African Republic6/01Georgia12/02
**Congo, Republic of6/99Nigeria1/01
Gambia, The9/37Pakistan11/01
***Guyana6/99Ukraine9/02
**Honduras3/024
****Liberia6/85
****Mali9/02
****Mauritania7/02
****MozambiQue9/014
****Senegal4/02
Somalia12/88
Sudan12/84
**Togo6/98
Number of countries145019
All countries42201577
Sources: Paris Club Secretariat; and IMF staff estimates.Note: Stock treatment in italics. Dates refer to end of current or last consolidation period. In the case of a stock-of-debt operation, canceled agreements, or rescheduling of arrears only, date shown is that of the relevant agreement.

* = rescheduling on London terms, ** = rescheduling on Naples terms, *** = rescheduling on Lyon terms, and **** = rescheduling on Cologne terms.

Defined here as countries that obtained lower-middle-income but not concessional terms with Paris Club reschedulings.

For some countries, this inevitably represents an element of judgment: in certain circumstances, for example, if hit by an external shock, a country may need further reschedulings.

Including deferral of maturities.

Rescheduling of arrears only.

Limited deferral of long-standing arrears to three creditors on nonconcessional terms.

Nonconcessional rescheduling at the authorities’ request.

Agreement includes a reprofiling of the stock of certain debts at the end of the consolidation period.

The 1994 rescheduling agreement was canceled at the authorities’ request.

Sources: Paris Club Secretariat; and IMF staff estimates.Note: Stock treatment in italics. Dates refer to end of current or last consolidation period. In the case of a stock-of-debt operation, canceled agreements, or rescheduling of arrears only, date shown is that of the relevant agreement.

* = rescheduling on London terms, ** = rescheduling on Naples terms, *** = rescheduling on Lyon terms, and **** = rescheduling on Cologne terms.

Defined here as countries that obtained lower-middle-income but not concessional terms with Paris Club reschedulings.

For some countries, this inevitably represents an element of judgment: in certain circumstances, for example, if hit by an external shock, a country may need further reschedulings.

Including deferral of maturities.

Rescheduling of arrears only.

Limited deferral of long-standing arrears to three creditors on nonconcessional terms.

Nonconcessional rescheduling at the authorities’ request.

Agreement includes a reprofiling of the stock of certain debts at the end of the consolidation period.

The 1994 rescheduling agreement was canceled at the authorities’ request.

As in the past, the consolidation periods of flow rescheduling agreements usually covered the periods of IMF arrangements. In July 2002, however, the Paris Club broke new ground by agreeing with Jordan on a flow rescheduling covering maturities falling due from mid-2002 through end-2007, well beyond the period of the IMF’s Stand-By Arrangement (which will expire in mid-2004).

Paris Club agreements typically covered medium- and long-term debt contracted before the cutoff date by the government or the public sector (or guaranteed by the government). In cases of exceptional financing need, arrears on post-cutoff date or short-term debts were deferred over a shorter period of time. All multiyear agreements included (typically annual) tranches and (with the exception of the agreement with Jordan) trigger clauses that linked the effectiveness of the tranches to the existence of an appropriate arrangement with the IMF and a good payments record to creditors. All agreements contained a comparability of treatment clause requiring debtor countries to seek reschedulings from other official bilateral and commercial creditors on terms at least as favorable as those granted by the Paris Club.

Rescheduling Agreements on Nonconcessional Terms19

Since January 2001, there have been two stock and six flow rescheduling agreements on middle-income terms. Depending on the financing need of the countries involved, Paris Club creditors in some cases substantially broadened the coverage of the reschedulings or granted more favorable terms than traditionally associated with middle-income countries.

Pakistan received two reschedulings in 2001. The first, in January, was on Houston terms and covered principal and interest arrears as of end-November 2000 and debt service falling due from December 2000 through September 2001 on pre-cutoff date debt not scheduled previously.20 The cutoff date was moved to September 30, 1997. Eligible commercial debt was rescheduled over 18 years with a 3-year grace period, and eligible ODA debt was rescheduled over 20 years with a 10-year grace period. In light of the fragility of Pakistan’s external position stemming from the deteriorating security situation in the region, Paris Club creditors granted Pakistan a comprehensive stock-of-debt rescheduling in December 2001. All pie-cutoff date debt was rescheduled over 23 years with a 5-year grace period for commercial debt, and over 38 years with 15 years’ grace for ODA debt. Maturities on post-cutoff date debt and moratorium interest Falling due during October 2001 to June 2002 were deferred, as was 20 percent of the moratorium interest falling due in the following two years. As a result of the extension of maturities and the application of lower interest rates by some creditors, the ratio of the NPV of debt-to-exports ratio declined by about 30 percentage points to 230 percent at end-2001.

In March 2001, Georgia received a flow rescheduling of principal payments falling due in 2001 and 2002 on public sector debt contracted prior to the November 1, 1999 cutoff date. Payments due were rescheduled over 20 years with a 3-year grace period for commercial debt and a 10-year grace period for ODA debt. Creditors agreed to apply a somewhat lower interest rate on debt rescheduled under previous bilateral agreements (outside the Paris Club). The agreement included a goodwill clause to extend the rescheduling—if needed to close a financing gap—through 2003 on terms no less favorable than the present agreement.

A flow rescheduling agreement with Ukraine was reached in July 2001. It covered principal arrears as of December 2000 and principal due from December 2001 through September 2001 on pre-cutoff date debt, which were rescheduled over 12 years with a 3-year grace period. The cutoff date was December 31, 1998.

In November 2001, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia agreed with Paris Club creditors on a comprehensive, phased restructuring of its stock of debt. When fully implemented, the degree of concessionality will be close to that of Naples terms, involving a 66 percent debt reduction in NPV terms. Sixty percent of the moratorium interest will be capitalized during the first three years of the agreement. The first phase covered arrears as of July 31, 2001, and maturities falling due from August 2001 through March 2002 on debt contracted prior to the cutoff date (December 20, 2000). The second phase of the agreement came into force in April 2002, triggered by the approval by the IMF’s Executive Board of a three-year arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility. This phase involved a 51 percent reduction in the NPV of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s commercial debt and the rescheduling of the remainder over 22 years, including a 6-year grace period, and the rescheduling of its ODA debt over 39 years, including a 16-year grace period. The final phase, with a future debt reduction of 15 percent in NPV terms, will come into force on the successful conclusion of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s three-year arrangement with the IMF, assuming a good payments record with the Paris Club.

In March 2002, creditors reached agreement with the Kyrgyz Republic on a three-year flow rescheduling on nonconcessional terms. Arrears as of December 5, 2001, and maturities on pre-cutoff date debt falling due through December 5, 2004, were rescheduled over 20 years with a 5-year grace period for commercial debt and a 10-year grace period for ODA debt. Moratorium interest was capitalized at 50, 60, and 70 percent in each of the three years. The agreement includes a goodwill clause for a possible concessional stock-of-debt operation at the end of the consolidation period. The cutoff date was set at August 31, 2001.

In April 2002, Indonesia concluded an agreement with the Paris Club on Houston terms. The agreement covers principal maturities on pre-cutoff date debt from April 2002 through December 2003, excluding those arising from the previous two rescheduling agreements. Commercial debt was rescheduled over 18 years with a 5-year grace period, and ODA over 20 years with a 10-year grace period. Interest payments falling due in 2002 were fully rescheduled. Depending on the financing need in 2003, another 50–100 percent of interest falling due in 2003 may also be rescheduled.

In July 2002, Jordan received a nonconcessional flow rescheduling of debt service falling due from mid-2002 through end-2007. The unusually long consolidation period was to provide the country an exit from Paris Club reschedulings, and recognized Jordan’s good payments record under previous rescheduling agreements. All arrears and debt service on pre-cutoff date (January 1, 1989) commercial and ODA debt falling due through mid-2004 were rescheduled over 20 years, as was a declining share of those maturities falling due during the remaining period through end-2007.

Rescheduling Agreements on Concessional Terms21

From January 2001 to December 2002, Paris Club creditors reached agreement on reschedulings on low-income terms (or topping up of existing agreements) with 20 countries, including five stock-of-debt operations. Most of these agreements were related to the implementation of the enhanced HIPC Initiative and thus based on Cologne terms, which imply a 90 percent NPV reduction on eligible debt for flow reschedulings and even more under stock-of-debt operations if necessary to achieve the debt-reduction targets under the Initiative. Agreements (including topping up of existing agreements) were reached with Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, the Republic of Yemen, and Zambia.

During this period, Paris Club creditors agreed to provide flow reschedulings on Cologne terms in the context of the enhanced HIPC Initiative to 12 countries: Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Malawi, Nicaragua, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Zambia. Côte d’Ivoire, which had previously reached its decision point under the original HIPC Initiative but not yet under the enhanced Initiative, received a flow rescheduling on Lyon terms, while the Democratic Republic of the Congo received a flow rescheduling on Naples terms. In the cases of Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, and Zambia, existing flow rescheduling agreements on Naples terms were topped up to Cologne terms. The topping up to Cologne terms of the Naples stock treatment for Benin, Burkina Faso, and Senegal, which were initially agreed in 2000 for the period up to each country’s completion point as projected at the time, were extended on several occasions because of delays in reaching their completion points.

The coverage of the flow rescheduling agreements was comprehensive. In all cases, current maturities and arrears on pre-cutoff date medium- and long-term debt (with the exception of debt-service obligations on the most recent Paris Club rescheduling in some instances) were consolidated. Obligations were treated under Naples, Lyon, or Cologne terms, and debt service due under previous less concessional rescheduling agreements was typically topped up to the concessionality level of the latest agreement. Consistent with a practice adopted by the Paris Club in 2000, Cologne terms applied only to debt service falling due after the date of the decision point under the enhanced HIPC Initiative; arrears accumulated before the decision point were treated on Naples terms.22

Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda reached their completion points under the enhanced HIPC Initiative and received HIPC relief from the Paris Club in the form of stock of debt reductions. In addition to the provision of HIPC relief at the completion point, most Paris Club creditors agreed to cancel, on a bilateral basis (outside the context of the Paris Club), part or all of the remaining ODA and commercial debt outstanding after implementation of the stock operation.23

During the period under review, the Paris Club also concluded rescheduling agreements on Naples terms with three HIPCs—Ethiopia, Ghana, and Sierra Leone—to cover the period preceding the decision points. On the basis of a goodwill clause in the previous rescheduling agreement, creditors also agreed to provide the Republic of Yemen with a stock-of-debt operation on Naples terms, as an exit from the HIPC Initiative.24 The stock-of-debt operation covered pre-cutoff date debt not rescheduled previously, with 67 percent debt reduction of commercial debt and a rescheduling over 40 years (including a 16-year grace period) of ODA claims. In light of the Republic of Yemen’s comfortable reserve position, the authorities agreed to a buyback of the remaining 33 percent of pre-cutoff date-commercial debt.

In cases of exceptional financing need, Paris Club creditors provided additional relief through treatment of debt categories that are normally not treated, or through a shift in the cutoff date for reschedulable debt. In light of the exceptional payment difficulties experienced by Ghana in 2001, this country received a partial deferral of arrears and debt-service obligations on post-cutoff date debt falling due from June 2001 to January 2002 (in addition to the Naples flow rescheduling of pre-cutoff date debt mentioned above). After Ghana reached its decision point under the HIPC Initiative (February 2002), the subsequent Cologne flow rescheduling involved a change in the cutoff date to increase Ghana’s eligible debt. A similar change in the cutoff date was agreed for Malawi.25 In light of the tight financing situation of Guinea-Bissau, creditors agreed to capitalize one-third of moratorium interest due during the consolidation period and deferred arrears on post-cutoff debt over a relatively long period (10 years with 3 years’ grace). The latter was also granted to Niger (10 years with 3 years’ grace) and Sierra Leone (5 years with 2 years’ grace). Small amounts of arrears on post-cutoff date debt were also deferred over a brief period in the case of Chad.

All agreements with low-income countries included debt swap clauses. These allowed creditors to sell or exchange on a voluntary basis part of their commercial claims (and all of their ODA claims) in the framework of debt-for-nature, debt-for-aid, or debt-for-equity swaps of other local currency debt swaps.

All flow rescheduling agreements under low-income country terms contained a goodwill clause. Under this clause, creditors indicated their willingness to consider a stock-of-debt operation at the end of the consolidation period, if the country continued to have an appropriate arrangement with the IMF and had fully implemented the rescheduling agreement. The agreements on Cologne terms included an HIPC clause, indicating creditors’ willingness to consider possible debt relief under the HIPC Initiative.

Transparency and Methodology Issues in Paris Club Rescheduling

Increased Transparency

In an effort to increase the transparency of its operations, the Paris Club established a website in May 2001 (www.clubdeparis.org). The website includes general information on the Paris Club, its functioning and its principles, rescheduling terms and their evolution, a database with detailed information on previous reschedulings of all countries that have had a Paris Club agreement, as well as press releases and recent news on Paris Club activities.

In April 2001 and again in April 2002, Paris Club representatives met with private investors gathered by the Institute of International Finance, the Emerging Markets Creditors Association, and the Emerging Markets Traders Association for an exchange of views on issues of mutual interest and recent developments related to the restructuring of sovereign external debt. Participants discussed the transparency policy of the Paris Club, ways to organize and conduct exchanges of views between the public and private sectors on issues of common interest, and the implementation of comparability of treatment. Creditors from both sides agreed that this exchange of views was useful and that annual discussions should continue in the future.

Modifications of Methodology

Since the beginning of 2001, Paris Club creditors have adopted a number of new methodology rules, most of them regarding the implementation of the enhanced HIPC Initiative. Starting with Bolivia (July 2001), creditors agreed to actualize the amounts of HIPC assistance delivered at the completion point to take into account the passage of time between the base year for the calculation of HIPC relief (usually the year before reaching the decision point) and the date of the completion point. In early 2002, creditors adopted a pragmatic topping-up methodology for countries that reach the decision point while a Naples flow rescheduling is still in place, cutting debt service on eligible debt under the existing rescheduling by 70 percent to bring cash payments in line with what these countries would have paid under a Cologne flow rescheduling. Outside of the HIPC context, the creditors specified in April 2001 their policy on entry-into-force clauses in Paris Club agreements. They decided to limit the scope of entry-into-force clauses to the provisions on the payment of consolidated (or deferred) amounts in the future. This would provide creditors the possibility of demanding payment of nonconsolidated amounts (for instance, arrears), even if the selected provisions of the Agreed Minute had not entered into force because of the nonfulfillment of the conditions stipulated in the entry-into-force clause. The creditors reached this decision in light of their experience with one debtor country, which had refused to make payments to Paris Club creditors on nonrescheduled debt because the Agreed Minute had not entered into force as a result of delays in the adoption of a new IMF-supported economic program.

The Evian Approach

In October 2003, representatives of Paris Club creditors agreed on a new, more tailored approach to deal with unsustainable debt in non-HIPC countries.

Key Elements of the New Approach

Under the Evian Approach, consideration by the Paris Club of a debtor’ country’s request for debt restructuring will be based on a debt sustainability analysis that would help determine whether there is a sustainability concern in addition to financing needs. The assessment will take into account the evolution of the debtor country’s external debt and debt-service burden relative to its payment capacity over time, its fiscal consolidation efforts, adverse impact of external shocks, and other factors including the debtor’s past and possible future recourse to Paris Club debt restructuring. Paris Club creditors will assess a debtor country’s debt sustainability in close cooperation with IMF staff.

For countries that face a liquidity problem, but whose debt is considered to be sustainable, debt rescheduling or restructuring by the Paris Club will be based on existing terms. However, Paris Club creditors agreed that key parameters of these terms (e.g., grace period and maturities) could be adjusted in light of the specific financial situation of a debtor country.

Paris Club creditors agreed that comprehensive debt treatment is warranted in cases where (1) debt is judged to be unsustainable; (2) the authorities concerned are committed to policies that will ensure a lasting exit from Paris Club rescheduling; and (3) the debtor countries are seeking comparable treatment from their other external creditors, including private creditors.

Comprehensive debt treatment under the Evian Approach is expected to be delivered in stages in order to maintain a strong link between economic policy performance and public debt management. In the first stage, the debtor country would need to put in place an IMF-supported program that would be accompanied by a Paris Club flow rescheduling. This stage, lasting from one to three years, aims to enable the debtor country to establish a satisfactory track record in the implementation of an IMF-supported program and in payment to Paris Club creditors. In the second stage, the country is expected to have a second arrangement with the IMF and could receive the first phase of the comprehensive treatment granted by the Paris Club. In the third stage, the Paris Club could complete the exit treatment based on the full implementation of the successor IMF-supported program and a satisfactory payment record. In this process, coordination between official and other creditors, notably private creditors, would be particularly important.

Debt Restructuring Options

There will be no standard debt rescheduling or restructuring terms. Under the Evian Approach, Paris Club creditors will tailor their approach to the individual debtor’s financial situation, drawing on available modalities including flow treatment, stock reprofiling, and stock reduction. Debt reduction, cither in nominal or in NPV terms, will be considered only in exceptional cases. Other options such as debt buybacks, swaps, contingency clauses, and adjustment of the “cutoff date” could be considered if needed. Regarding the latter, the guiding principle is to provide adequate debt relief to achieve debt sustain ability without undermining the incentives for new lending to the debtor country. In considering whether to adjust the “cutoff date,” attention is to be paid to the “age” of the date, the share of post-cutoff date debt in total debt, and burden sharing among creditors.

Recent Debt Restructurings with Non-Paris Club Creditors

Countries that reschedule debt with Paris Club creditors typically also have debts to other bilateral official and commercial creditors. The Paris Club agreements include standard provisions requiring these debtors to seek relief from non-Paris Club bilateral creditors on terms at least as favorable as Paris Club terms. Also, non-Paris Club creditors are expected to deliver their share of assistance under the HIPC Initiative based on the principle of proportional burden sharing. In practice, such comparable treatment is often not provided, and arrears accumulate instead. As of December 2002, 24 non–Paris Club creditor countries had not yet expressed their intention to provide HIPC relief. In a small number of cases, official bilateral creditors even resorted to litigation against debtor countries. Litigation by commercial creditors is more common, and there are a few instances where these creditors have been successful in recovering their claims through litigation.26 Notwithstanding these setbacks in the delivery of debt relief to poor countries, some non-Paris Club creditors have delivered their share of HIPC relief (Table 4.4).

Table 4.4.Reschedulings of HIPCs with Non-Paris Club Official Bilateral Creditors, 1996–2002
CreditorDebtorAgreement DateTotal amount (US$ million)Coverage1Terms and other comments
AlgeriaMozambiqueDec. 1998382.0P+ILyon terms.
ArgentinaBeninJun. 1993205PBuyback with 84 percent discount.
ArgentinaGuineaDec. 199822.5PBuyback with 86 percent discount.
BrazilBoliviaJan. 20012P+IRescheduling of outstanding obligations to be on terms comparable to Paris Club agreement.
BrazilGuyanaJan. 20012P+IRescheduling of outstanding obligations to be on terms comparable to Paris Club agreement.
ChinaAfrican HIPCsOct. 20001,200.0A+PFull debt write-off pledged to 16 African HIPCs.
Costa RitaNicaraguaDec. 2000383.03A+PCreditor agreed to deliver HIPC assistance.
Cote d’IvoireMaliAug. 19996.3A+PLyon terms.
Cote d’IvoireBurkina FasoApr. 20028.5P+ICreditor agreed to deliver HIPC assistance.
Czech RepublicGuineaOct. 199720.0ABuyback with 88.5 percent discount; payment in local (Guinean currency).
Czech RepublicNicaraguaNov. 1996132.04PRescheduled over 13 years, zero interest rate for first 8 years and 5 percent thereafter.
Czech RepublicZambiaNov. 20000.13PBuyback with 89 percent discount.
Czech RepublicBenin7.7P+IBuyback on Paris Club terms.
EgyptTanzaniaJul. 20000.43PCreditor agreed to 90 percent NPV reduction of outstanding debt.
EgyptGuinea9.7P+ICreditor agreed to 67 percent of stock and the remainder has been rescheduled.
GuatemalaNicaraguaDec. 2000364.03A+PHIPC assistance delivered through a debt swap with Spain.
HondurasNicaraguaDec. 2000100.03A+PCreditor agreed to deliver HIPC assistance.
HungaryAll HIPCsDec. 2001A+PCreditor indicated willingness to provide HIPC relief.
IndiaAll HIPCsJun. 2002139.4P+ICreditor agreed to deliver HIPC assistance.
KoreaUgandaAug. 20024.7P+ICreditor agreed to deliver HIPC assistance.
KoreaGhana10.3P+ICreditor indicated willingness to provide HIPC relief.
KuwaitBurkina Faso17.4A+PRescheduled over 40 years with 16 years grace; HIPC relief not delivered.
KuwaitCameroon12.0A+P4Rescheduled over 40 years with 16 years grace; HIPC relief not delivered.
KuwaitUganda25.5A+P4Rescheduled over 30 years with 9 years grace; HIPC relief not delivered.
KuwaitMadagascarSep. 199913.6P+ICreditor agreed to deliver interim relief.
KuwaitGhanaMay 200223.6P+IRescheduled over 40 years with 16 years grace; HIPC relief not delivered.
KuwaitTanzaniaMay 2002249.5P+ICreditor indicated willingness to provide HIPC relief.
KuwaitMauritaniaMay 20022130.1P+ICreditor indicated willingness to provide HIPC relief.
KuwaitMali32.4P+ICreditor indicated willingness to provide HIPC relief.
KuwaitSierra LeoneJun. 200214.0P+ICreditor indicated willingness to provide HIPC relief.
KuwaitBenin21.9P+ICreditor indicated willingness to provide HIPC relief.
KuwaitNigerOct. 200246.2P+ICreditor indicated willingness to provide HIPC relief.
LibyaAll HIPCsSep. 20021,156.2P+ICreditor indicated willingness to provide HIPC relief.
MexicoNicaraguaSep. 1996996.0PUpfront reduction of 92 percent; remaining $83 mn to be paid over 15 years.
MexicoHondurasOct. 200252.6P+ICreditor indicated willingness to provide HIPC relief.
MoroccoGuineaDec. 2000224.73A+PCreditor pledged to forgive outstanding claims.
MoroccoSierra Leone12.1P+ICreditor pledged to forgive outstanding claims.
PakistanUgandaNov. 20011.63P+ICreditor indicated willingness to provide HIPC relief.
PolandBoliviaJul. 19971.5PUpfront payment of 18 percent.
PolandMozambique10.0P+ICreditor indicated willingness to provide HIPC relief.
RwandaUgandaAug. 20020.6P+I+AFull debt write-off granted by creditor.
Saudi ArabiaMadagascarApr. 20015.9A+PRescheduled over 40 years with 7 years grace; falls short of HIPC relief.
Saudi ArabiaMauritaniaJun. 200286.8P+ICreditor agreed to deliver HIPC assistance.
Saudi ArabiaMali71.0P+ICreditor agreed to deliver HIPC assistance.
Saudi ArabiaGhanaMay 200217.1Provided flow rescheduling on Naples terms.
Saudi ArabiaUgandaAug. 20028.8P+IProvided HIPC assistance.
Slovak RepublicNicaraguaApr. 200081.1P90 percent upfront reduction; remaining $8 million to be repaid over 13 years.
Slovak RepublicTanzaniaMar. 20010.65P+IBuyback with 90 percent discount.
Slovak RepublicZambiaOct. 20000.2PBuyback with 88 percent discount.
South AfricaMalawiAug. 20013.2PFull debt write-off granted by creditor
South AfricaMozambiqueMar. 200022.0PFull debt write-off granted by creditor.
TanzaniaUgandaAug. 1997122.5ABuyback with 85 percent discount; $58.1 million of the total is pending verification.
Rep. Bolivariana de
VenezuelaBoliviaJun. 19974.0P100 percent forgiven.
ZambiaTanzaniaDec. 20010.5P+ICreditor pledged to provide HIPC relief.
Sources: Country authorities; and IMF and World Bank staff estimates.

A = arrears; P = principal; and I = interest.

Approximate date.

Amounts in net present value terms.

Only arrears on principal (not on interest) were included in the rescheduling agreement.

To be confirmed by debtor.

Sources: Country authorities; and IMF and World Bank staff estimates.

A = arrears; P = principal; and I = interest.

Approximate date.

Amounts in net present value terms.

Only arrears on principal (not on interest) were included in the rescheduling agreement.

To be confirmed by debtor.

In general, the Paris Club grants concessional terms to countries that are eligible only for concessional assistance from the World Bank (“IDA-only countries”). Other countries usually receive nonconcessional terms. Creditors decide the terms to be applied on a case-by-case basis. For a detailed explanation of debt rescheduling under the Paris Club, see Ross and Hamsen (2001), pp. 43–50. The reference to 30 agreements excludes cases involving amendments.

The name of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was changed to Serbia and Montenegro in 2003.

Nonconcessional terms as defined in Appendix V, Table A5.1.

Small amounts of previously rescheduled debt were also included.

defined in Table A5.1. Includes reschedulings under Toronto, London, Naples, Lyon, and Cologne terms.

For Guinea-Bissau, however, arrears that had been incurred since the preliminary HIPC Initiative, consideration in early 1998 were, rescheduled on Lyon terms (80 percent NPV reduction).

Some countries grant these reductions on a case-by-case basis.

The Republic of Yemen’s debt had been considered sustainable within the framework of the Initiative.

For Malawi, the the cutoff date was moved from 1982 to January 1, 1997, making all of Malawi’s debt pre-cutoff date debt. For Ghana, it was moved from January 1, 1983 to June 20, 1999.

See International Monetary Fund and World Bank (2002c).

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