Finance minister urges banks to cut interest rates
imf.org / William Murray, Deputy spokesman to the IMF
July 20, 2017
Let me take a couple questions online.
Mozambique: the IMF’s Mr. Lazare, our mission chief, has said that, quote, “critical information gaps remain unaddressed regarding the use of loans, proceeds”, close quote. Please be more specific about what the IMF sees as the information gaps, and how they can be filled, with what information and in what detail?
First of all, we welcomed and continue to welcome the fact that the delivery of an international forensic audit on three companies to the office of the public prosecutor of Mozambique has taken place. We commend Mozambique public prosecutor for undertaking this important audit and for releasing the summary of the report. Transparency and good governance are key conditions for sustainable, inclusive growth, and that applies to all countries. Now we look forward to the publication of the entire audit report in due course. At that point, we will be able to provide an informed view on the audit and its implications.
Questioner: I just wanted to follow up on that. So the audit found that about a quarter of the money still remains unaccounted for. Do they need to track down the rest of that before the IMF can even start talking about reengaging with Mozambique?
Mr. Murray: I’m not sure of your characterisation. There’s unaccounted for and undocumented issues. I’m not sure it’s that category. But one of our main conditions is that we want to see full publication of this audit report for transparency. And as it stands right now, the report has only been partially published.
Questioner: Does there need to be more auditing done to do this more adequate, as far as you can?
Mr. Murray: Don’t forget that we stated at the time when the summary was published — that was back in June — that publication of documents constituted an important step toward greater transparency regarding loans amounting to $2 billion by these three public companies. The report provides useful information on how the loans were contracted and on the assets purchased by the companies. However, there are information gaps, in particular on the use of the loan proceeds. We want to see those information gaps closed.