Lagos — Wall Street and other global banks say it’s a question of when, not if, SA loses investment-grade status on its local-currency ratings. The bigger question is how much damage it would cause. Bank of America estimates there may be $14bn of outflows if rand debt is excluded from Citigroup’s World Government Bond Index (WGBI), which requires non-junk ratings from Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings. That moment may be fast approaching after Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s bleak medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) on October 25 forecast rising debts and weaker growth. JPMorgan Chase analysts Sonja Keller and Yvette Babb said ratings agencies "are now unlikely to remain as patient as they have been". They predict Moody’s and S&P — each scheduled to review SA on November 24 — will probably cut the nation’s local bonds below investment grade within two months. If so, they would follow Fitch Ratings, which already has SA debt at junk. Standard Chartered says it...

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