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Standard Chartered sues S.Africa’s Land Bank to recover debt

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Standard Chartered is suing South Africa’s Land Bank to recover debts, Land Bank said on Tuesday, after the state-owned agricultural lender defaulted on repayments for debt worth 50 billion rand ($2.97 billion) in April.

South Africa’s Treasury said in June it would inject 3 billion rand into The Land and Agricultural Bank of South Africa, the country’s largest agricultural focused-lender, which had been in talks with creditors on a restructuring plan following the default.

However Land Bank said in a statement that Standard Chartered had since launched legal proceedings to recover some of the money, earlier in August. 

“Land Bank is working with its advisers and will be opposing the application,” it said, adding it was continuing to work with creditors towards a solution.

Standard Chartered declined to comment.

Land Bank also missed almost 120 million rand worth of interest payments in June.

About 5.7 billion rand worth of its debt is guaranteed by the government.

($1 = 16.8250 rand)

(Reporting by Emma Rumney; Editing by Tim Cocks and David Evans)

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