The three major credit ratings agencies appear to have given their preliminary approval to the 2018-19 budget tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Wednesday. This is according to Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane, who said in Thursday’s meeting with members of Parliament’s select and standing committees on appropriations and finance that he had engaged with Fitch Ratings, S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service after the budget speech The agencies’ views of the government’s fiscal plans are critical as they assign a rating to SA’s foreign and domestic debt. Moody’s is the only ratings agency that does not have the country on junk status, although it has its current rating on review for a downgrade. If it were to downgrade SA, then the country would be excluded from world bond indices and this would compel some global institutional investors to withdraw funds. Moody’s was awaiting the outcome of the ANC’s elective conference and of the budget befo...

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