Congo Republic Enlists Strauss-Kahn’s Help While Seeking IMF Bailout

(Bloomberg) -- The Republic of Congo sought the assistance of former International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn as the debt-strapped nation’s bid to secure a bailout stretches into a third year.

Strauss-Kahn and Lazard France Chief Executive Officer Mathieu Pigasse traveled to the Congolese capital, Brazzaville, in January for talks with President Denis Sassou Nguesso, Finance Ministry spokesman Adrien Wayi Lewy said in an interview.

“They have a great understanding of global finance and were in Congo at the request of President Denis Sassou Nguesso to help,” Wayi Lewy said by phone Wednesday, declining to provide details about the discussions. Strauss-Kahn has returned to Congo and is currently in Oyo, Sassou Nguesso’s home town, news website Les Depeches de Brazzaville reported Thursday.

Congo owes creditors including Glencore Plc and state-owned Chinese entities at least $9.14 billion. The oil-producing nation has been trying to secure funding from the International Monetary Fund since March 2017 to revive its economy, which contracted for two of the past three years after a slump in crude prices.

Talks with the IMF are continuing and the government anticipates that a deal will be signed “soon,” Wayi Lewy said.

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