Gigaba budget puts SA on brink of junk
Ratings agency Moody’s says policy direction shift puts the sustainability of SA’s public debt at risk
Ratings agency Moody’s has made it all but certain that it will downgrade SA’s credit rating to junk status at its next review on November 24, saying that last week’s medium-term budget policy statement signalled a change in policy direction that was credit negative. The agency said this had put the sustainability of SA’s public debt at risk. The stern comments from Moody’s, in a report on the medium-term budget statement released on Monday, raise the prospect that large amounts of capital will flow out of SA’s bond markets as investors move to anticipate the junking of SA’s domestic bonds, putting pressure on the rand exchange rate. Moody’s downgraded its rating on SA’s foreign and rand-denominated bonds and put the country on negative outlook in April, following the cabinet reshuffle in which Malusi Gigaba replaced Pravin Gordhan as finance minister. A junk rating on the domestic bonds by both Moody’s and S&P Global would prompt SA’s ejection from the key World Government Bond ind...
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