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Wednesday, 3 February 2021

We have a lot of debt, but low risk levels -Morgan Stanley

When it comes to the world’s most indebted countries, Egypt is best in class in terms of debt manageability, according to Morgan Stanley, which has lumped the nations with the weakest credit ratings into three categories depending on the level of risk, Reuters reports. Egypt — along with Jordan, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Senegal — all make it into the first category, having manageable debt levels, no issues accessing the debt markets and existing funding streams with the IMF.

Countries in the other categories aren’t quite as well off: Category two nations such as Pakistan, Cameroon and Kenya need an “extremely supportive” environment to keep up with payments, analysts at the investment bank wrote. The third tier is populated by countries already in default such as Lebanon and Zambia, and those which have been at risk over the long-term.

And things could be getting tougher: Borrowing costs could be about to rise for some of the world’s most indebted countries after Ethiopia’s application to the G20’s debt relief initiative caused the price of its sovereign bonds to crash, analysts said. Expectations that private investors will be forced to take a haircut on Ethiopian debt may result in added scrutiny being applied to the other 73 nations eligible to apply for debt relief, potentially pushing up yields in countries with weaker credit ratings, they said.

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