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By Shapi Shacinda

Barclays Zambia To Issue Bonds Worth $100 million

LUSAKA (Reuters) – Barclays’ Zambian operation will issue bonds worth 500 billion kwacha on the Lusaka bourse over the next two to three years to fund its expansion in the mineral-rich country, a bank official said on Wednesday. 

Zafar Masud, the Barclays Bank regional managing director for southern Africa, told Reuters the bank would start issuing the bonds in the first quarter of 2009. 

A first tranche of 175 billion kwacha would be issued in the first quarter of 2009 while a second tranche of 125 billion kwacha would be issued by the end of June. A total of 500 billion kwacha will be rolled out “in a couple of years”, he said. 

“We want to build our liquidity and it’s also for our expansion plans. Our intention is not to rely on foreign (money to expand),” Masud told Reuters in an interview. 

“Moreover you have seen what is happening in the global markets. We are a (local) bank which should raise money here and invest it locally for the benefit of the Zambians,” he added. 

Masud said Barclays, which has a $600 million lending portfolio, would continue to provide financing mostly to the agricultural sector, which Zambia wants to expand as it tries to diversify the economy from copper and cobalt mining.