Chad creditors expected to agree phased 'contingent' debt relief plan

By Andrea Shalal

TOKYO, July 13 (Reuters) - Chad's official creditors are expected to agree on Wednesday a debt restructuring strategy that includes contingencies based on oil prices and participation of private creditor Glencore, a person familiar with the plans said.

Their meeting comes amid pressure from the International Monetary Fund and others for resolution of Chad's request from January 2021 for restructuring of its $3 billion in external debt under the Group of 20 major economies' Common Framework.

Chad, the first country to ask for a debt deal under the framework, struck an initial agreement with creditor nations in June 2021, but has struggled to finalize talks with Glencore GLEN.L and other private creditors.

Rising oil prices have complicated the picture further, with Glencore arguing that the oil-producing African nation no longer needs debt relief. Experts say, though, the terms of its debt agreements with Glencore and others will continue to burden the country and prevent it from benefiting from the surge in prices.

The country owes one third of its external debt to commercial creditors, and almost all of that to Glencore in oil-for-cash deals dating back to 2013 and 2014.

The new debt treatment deal would last only through 2024, when a $571 million IMF financing program expires, and it will phase in debt relief based on certain brackets for oil prices. Details about the specific oil price levels stipulated in the deal were not immediately available.

"The strategy is to put out a contingent strategy that will give Glencore an incentive to join in," said the source, noting that the company had not yet agreed to the terms of the deal and it was unclear if it would join in.

If the oil price goes below $60 per barrel, then the agreement would call for an additional review, that person said.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal Editing by Tomasz Janowski

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