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Lagos/Johannesburg — SA has an opportunity to borrow in international markets at the lowest cost since 2014, capitalising on unprecedented demand for high-yielding African dollar debt and improving sentiment toward the local economy. There’s just one problem. Moody’s Investors Service is due to review the country’s credit ratings later this month, and a reprieve would strengthen the government’s hand. But waiting for that risks paying more, with the US Federal Reserve almost certain to lift US rates, and, with them, bond yields globally. SA’s long-term foreign-currency debt is already rated below investment grade by S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, both of which also assess the country’s local-currency debt as junk. Moody’s, however, has both ratings on the lowest investment level, albeit with a negative outlook. Revenue and spending measures announced in last month’s budget, the first under new President Cyril Ramaphosa, may have been enough to avert another downgrade, accordi...

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