London — Credit rating firm S&P Global has warned SA that its rating could be cut deeper into junk territory if the government meddles with the "critical" independence of the Reserve Bank. A row over the Bank escalated this week after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane called for a change in the Bank’s mandate to focus on growth more than maintaining currency and price stability. "We would consider it critical that the operational independence of the Reserve Bank remains untouched lest we would see weakening policy flexibility in monetary affairs," S&P’s top sovereign analyst, Moritz Kraemer, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum chatroom. "Depending on the severity of the changes (to the Bank’s independence), a rating action could indeed be one consequence." S&P stripped SA of its coveted investment-grade rating in April after the sacking of internationally respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan. It currently has a BB+ rating with a negative outlook on its foreign currency debt...

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