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Asset manager Futuregrowth has succeeded in getting some state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to improve disclosure to investors and governance. This follows a due diligence review the asset manager started, after it controversially halted new lending to the largest SOEs because of growing concern about governance and decision-making. This comes as ratings agency S&P Global Ratings has again expressed concern about government guarantees to financially ailing SOEs, and the risk this could pose to SA’s sovereign credit rating. S&P, which put SA’s sovereign credit rating on negative outlook in December 2015, will have to decide in 2017 whether to downgrade SA to subinvestment grade ("junk") status or return it to a stable rating. Speaking at S&P’s annual credit conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Futuregrowth head of credit Olga Constantatos said Futuregrowth had been able to negotiate key improvements in public disclosure and legal documentation, after it undertook an in-depth due dilige...

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