Kyrgyzstan’s public debt increased by 1.8% on the month to reach $3.93mn as of the end of April, accelerating from a 0.2% monthly hike in March, data from the finance ministry showed. The debt rose by 3% since the beginning of the year.
The debt increase was driven by the government’s continued borrowing to finance infrastructure projects. One such project is the CASA-1000 power link that envisages Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan combining their hydropower resources to export excess electricity to Pakistan and Afghanistan during the summer months. Kyrgyzstan is relying on financing from international lenders to co-finance its $233mn share of the $1.17bn project.
The end-April debt accounts for 63.5% of the expected end-year GDP. The debt-to-GDP ratio stood at 68.2% at the end of 2015.
Foreign debt makes up most of the Kyrgyz public debt and stood at $3.695bn at the end of April, the figures also showed. In monthly terms, the external debt was higher by 1.3%, while it rose by 2.6% since the beginning of the year.
China’s Exim Bank stands as the country’s largest creditor with total outstanding credit worth $1.367bn at the end of April. The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) follows with $650mn, ahead and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with $593.1mn.
The IMF recently estimated the debt-to-GDP ratio to reach 70% this year and called on the government to implement fiscal tightening measures to stem the debt rise.
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