The debt owed by State Owned Enterprises (SOE) declined from 6.1 percent in 2016 to 5.7 percent in 2017, the Bank of Namibia (BoN) said in its 2017 Financial Stability Report.
The decline in the proportion of SOE debt is attributed to the foreign debt component which declined from N$3.8 billion in 2016 to N$3.7 billion in 2017.
Total outstanding SOEs debt amounted to N$6 billion in 2017, comprising of N$3.7 billion foreign debt and N$2.3 billion local debt.
The foreign debt portfolio of SOEs declined by 3.6 percent, while the local debt portfolio rose by 22.7 percent.
The Bank of Namibia said although the appreciation of the Namibia Dollar against major trading currencies contributed to the decline in the external debt stock in 2017, the increase in local debt was attributed to increased borrowing activities to meet the financing requirements.
In comparison, private sector debt increased from N$52.2 billion to N$62.8 billion.
“This was as a result of base effects attributed to the restructuring of debt to equity by mining companies in the previous year. Similarly, local private sector debt rose by 2.7 percent to N$36.3 billion from N$35.3 billion and hence contributed to the increase in the share of private sector debt. This increase could be ascribed to expansion projects aimed at fulfilling long-term contracts by various corporate entities,” the report said.
The stock of bonds issued by Namibian corporates on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) increased by 47.2 percent to N$5.3 billion in 2017 from N$3.6 billion in 2016.
“The increase stemmed from the new issuance of bonds by SOEs and commercial banks during the period year under review. Total outstanding corporate bonds comprised of N$4.2 billion issued by commercial banks, N$741 million issued by SOEs and N$310 million by non-bank corporates.”