Embattled state-owned entities (SOEs) such as Eskom and roads agency Sanral are expected to regain access to the bond market in 2018, despite their financial woes, keeping debt raising among public and private sector companies at elevated levels. RMB Global Markets expects gross debt issuance among companies, excluding private transactions and commercial paper, to reach R138bn in 2018. This "reflects some optimism that the public sector will regain access to the listed market, but bank issuance will moderate after an extraordinary 2017", it said last week. Eskom, which has been racked by corporate governance failures, cash flow concerns and corruption allegations, posted net issuance of less than R800m in 2017. Net issuance refers to gross debt issued less any debt that was repaid. In a "normal year", Eskom could issue R10bn to R12bn in longer-dated debt, Elena Ilkova, head of fixed income and credit research at RMB Global Markets, said on Friday. The absence of large SOEs, such as ...

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