S&P Global Ratings. Picture: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID
S&P Global Ratings. Picture: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID

S&P Global Ratings said in a report published on Thursday that SA’s sovereign credit ratings were unlikely to be downgraded deeper into "junk" territory, after Turkey’s ratings suffered that fate earlier this month.

S&P, one of two major ratings agencies to rate SA’s foreign-currency debt below investment grade, added in the report that the country’s external metrics were solid and that its monetary flexibility was a credit strength.

The agency downgraded Turkey’s sovereign rating deeper into junk status on August 17 in the wake of a steep slide in the lira, which also rocked emerging-market currencies, including the rand.

"The main reason for Turkey’s downgrade was our expectation that the extreme volatility of the Turkish lira and the resulting projected sharp balance of payments adjustment will undermine Turkey’s economy," S&P said in the report.

"By contrast, we have a stable outlook on SA, reflecting a potential modest pick-up in economic growth, steady public-debt dynamics, and our expectation that the government will gradually implement economic and social reforms."

S&P is next scheduled to review SA’s sovereign ratings in November. In May, S&P affirmed SA’s foreign-currency debt at BB.

Reuters

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