Viewing cable 05PARIS8586
Title: PARIS CLUB - DECEMBER 2005 TOUR D'HORIZON

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05PARIS85862005-12-21 17:13:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Paris
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 PARIS 008586 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
STATE FOR EB/IFD/OMA 
TREASURY FOR DO/IDD AND OUSED/IMF 
SECDEF FOR USDP/DSAA 
PASS EXIM FOR CLAIMS -- EDELARIVA 
PASS USDA FOR CCC -- ALEUNG/DERICKSON/KCHADWICK 
PASS USAID FOR CLAIMS 
PASS DOD FOR DSCS -- PBERG 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EFIN ECON EAID XM XA XH XB XF FR
SUBJECT: PARIS CLUB - DECEMBER 2005 TOUR D'HORIZON 
 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED.  NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION 
 
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SUMMARY 
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¶1. (SBU) At the December 13 Paris Club meeting, creditors 
agreed to implement a second 30 percent tranche of debt 
reduction for Iraq, provided a Stand-By Arrangement is 
approved by the IMF Executive Board before year-end.  The 
first batch of bilateral agreements implementing the Paris 
Club debt deal with Nigeria, including an agreement with the 
U.S., was signed on December 17 at a ceremony in Abuja. 
Grenada has reached agreement in principle with the IMF on a 
Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) that could pave 
the way for a Paris Club rescheduling in 2006.  Key 
creditors withdrew opposition to an increase in the debt 
swap ceiling for Jordan; the issue will be discussed again 
in January.  Other countries on the agenda included Angola, 
Argentina, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the 
Dominican Republic, Kenya, Macedonia, North Korea, Sao Tome 
and Principe, Serbia Montenegro, and Sierra Leone.   END 
SUMMARY. 
 
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ANGOLA 
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¶2.  (SBU) The Secretariat presented the results of a recent 
data call, which revealed significant disparities in 
Angola's behavior toward to its Paris Club creditors. 
Angola owes 3.9 billion dollars to the Paris Club, of which 
3.5 billion is in arrears (including late interest).  The 
majority of Paris Club creditors have received little or no 
debt service over the last decade; in some cases (Denmark, 
Canada, Finland, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, 
UK, Japan), arrears represent the totality of the 
outstanding debt stock.  Germany, on the other hand, 
reported no arrears (out of 223 million dollars in 
exposure), while the US reported just 7 million dollars in 
arrears (out of 49 million). (Note: on December 16, US Ex-Im 
Bank reported it had received payment of the arrears from 
Angola.)  Spain (the largest creditor) asked the Secretariat 
to draft a letter urging the authorities to respect Paris 
Club solidarity.  The USDEL said it could support a letter 
calling on Angola to pay all its Paris Club creditors in 
full.  In addition to a letter, the Secretariat agreed to 
prepare a working paper exploring creative ways of dealing 
with Angola if and when it comes to the Club. 
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ARGENTINA 
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¶3.  (SBU) Creditors decided to hold off on follow-up action 
to the letter that was sent last month (expressing concern 
about the accumulation of arrears) until Argentina's new 
economic team has signaled its intentions to the IMF. 
 
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DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO 
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¶4.   (SBU) The Secretariat will initiate a data call to 
determine the size of a moratorium interest payment falling 
due on March 31, 2006.  Creditors will decide whether to 
defer the payment based on the DRC's capacity to pay.  In 
response to a question from the Secretariat, the USDEL 
explained that it is now in a position to join other 
creditors in providing HIPC interim relief to the DRC and 
that it will forgive 100% of flows falling due, including 
the interest payment falling due in March. (Note: USG will 
be able to provide interim relief until the end of FY07.) 
 
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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 
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¶5.  (SBU) The IMF said no major financing gaps are expected 
in 2006 thanks to higher-than-expected financing from 
Venezuela and the World Bank and lower-than-programmed 
payment of arrears to electricity generators.  Therefore, 
there is no need for financing assurances from the Paris 
Club.  In October, the DR had asked the Paris Club to 
reschedule 2005 and 2006 maturities.  At that time, the 
USDEL, while supporting the 2005 rescheduling, was 
unconvinced by the IMF's financing gap projections and had 
successfully opposed the 2006 request. 
 
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GRENADA 
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¶6.   (SBU) The IMF said agreement in principle has been 
reached with Grenada on a PRGF that could come to the 
Executive Board in March.  Although Paris Club claims are 
relatively small, the Fund is planning to ask creditors for 
financing assurances next month.  Grenada completed a 
restructuring of its commercial debt in November 
 
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IRAQ 
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¶7.  (SBU) The second tranche of cancellation (30%) is set to 
take effect, assuming an SBA is approved by the IMF 
Executive Board later this month.  Although the IMF noted 
that two prior actions still needed to be completed 
(adjustment of domestic fuel prices and an audit of the 
central bank), it gave no indication that the program might 
be delayed.  The Secretariat has drafted a letter to the 
authorities notifying them that the conditions for the 
second tranche of cancellation have been met.  The plan is 
to send the letter on December 23 or 24, immediately 
following board approval of the SBA.  Several creditors 
(France, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, 
Switzerland, Austria) hope to finalize their bilateral 
agreements by the end of the year.  The deadline for 
concluding bilateral agreements is likely to be extended 
another two months to accommodate laggards, to February 28, 
¶2006. 
 
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JORDAN 
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¶8.  (SBU) Reaction to Jordan's request for an increase in 
the debt swap ceiling was more positive than anticipated, 
although a consensus is still lacking.  As expected, the US, 
the UK, France, and Italy voiced support for the request, 
citing Jordan's role as a key ally and a desire to be 
helpful in the face of difficult external challenges. 
Canada and Japan - which had previously opposed Jordan's 
request in the G-7 - said they would not block consensus, 
although they remain unenthusiastic.  Several other 
countries (Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway) 
expressed reservations and asked for more information before 
making any decisions.  The Netherlands warned that 
increasing the ceiling would set a dangerous precedent and 
said that it had already been approached by Indonesia with a 
similar request to do more swaps.  Norway, which in the past 
has lobbied creditors to lift the ceiling on debt-for- 
development swaps, said it was skeptical about uncapping 
debt-for-equity swaps.  The Secretariat agreed to produce a 
working paper for discussion at the next meeting. 
Separately, creditors are prepared to extend the 
consolidation period of Jordan's current arrangement once 
they receive a comfort letter from the IMF (expected soon) 
regarding Jordan's performance under Post-Program 
Monitoring. 
 
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KENYA 
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¶9.  (SBU) The second review of the PRGF has been delayed 
until January in the wake of President Kibaki's decision to 
reshuffle his cabinet.  Creditors are prepared to enter into 
force the third phase of the current Paris Club agreement 
once the second review is approved. 
 
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MACEDONIA 
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¶10.  (SBU) Macedonia has withdrawn its prepayment offer 
after it was unable to resolve a dispute with Italy over a 
loan to the former Yugoslavia.  The Secretariat reported 
that Macedonia recently issued a 150 million 10-year 
eurobond with a coupon rate of 4.625%. 
 
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NIGERIA 
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¶11.  (SBU) The Secretariat confirmed that Nigeria has made 
its second payment into escrow at the BIS, pursuant to the 
terms of the October Agreed Minute.  The first batch of 
bilateral agreements, including an agreement with the U.S., 
was signed in Abuja on December 17. 
 
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NORTH KOREA 
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¶12.   (SBU) Russia reported $7.4 billion in claims, all in 
arrears, and asked if other creditors had exposure to North 
Korea.  Eleven other creditors (France, Netherlands, 
Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, 
Belgium, Finland) reported claims ranging from $10 million 
(UK) to $365 million (Japan) - most of which are in arrears. 
The US has no claims. 
 
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SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE 
--------------------- 
¶13.  (SBU) STP has mishandled implementation of a previous 
agreement to make a one-time payment of $1.5 million to its 
Paris Club creditors.  STP overpaid Russia, but underpaid 
Spain, Germany, and France.  The Secretariat will work with 
all parties involved to rectify the error.  The US is not a 
creditor. 
 
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SERBIA MONTENEGRO 
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¶14.  (SBU) The final review of the IMF program is scheduled 
to come to the Executive Board in February.  Creditors 
rejected Serbia's request for an extension of the interest 
capitalization period (to match the technical extension of 
the IMF program) on the grounds that Serbia should not be 
rewarded for dithering on reforms. 
 
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SIERRA LEONE 
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¶15.  (SBU) The IMF reported that a new PRGF could be in 
place by next February, subject to the completion of prior 
actions and financing assurances from the Paris Club.  Once 
the program is approved, creditors will resume interim HIPC 
relief retroactive to June 2005, when the previous PRGF 
expired. 
 
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Debt Swap Report and Handbook 
----------------------------- 
¶16.  (SBU) The Secretariat asked creditors to update their 
submissions to the recent debt swap data call, and 
distributed a preliminary glossary of terms for creditors' 
comment.  In response to the USDEL suggestion that the 
handbook be expanded beyond a simple glossary to something 
resembling a user's manual, the Secretariat said it would 
start with a glossary and then consider possible next steps. 
 
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Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration 
-------------------------------- 
¶17.  (U) An event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 
Paris Club is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, June 14, 
coinciding with the Paris Club's annual meeting with the 
private sector.  The Brookings Institution and CEPII (a 
French think tank) will organize a policy forum consisting 
of three roundtable discussions: the Paris Club in the 
international financial system; the Paris Club and 
development; and the Paris Club and the private sector.  The 
roundtable discussions will be chaired by former Paris Club 
chairpersons and will feature speakers from creditor and 
debtor countries, as well as from academia.  Brookings will 
publish a collection of papers, to be submitted by various 
contributors. 
 
STAPLETON#