Reserve Bank cautions about risks of capital outflows and sanctions
Foreign participation in SA government bonds has fallen to 25% from 42% in the last five years, the Bank says in its Financial Stability Review
The SA Reserve Bank has warned of risks to the country's financial stability, due to capital outflows and the possibility of sanctions following a US diplomat's accusation of supplying weapons to Russia to aid its campaign in Ukraine.
These risks, along with the threat of a grid failure due to repeated power cuts and persistent high inflation, have increased the systemic risks to the financial system, the Reserve Bank said in its biannual health check on Monday.
The SA economy has been pummelled by a host of negative factors in 2023, with SA facing its worst-ever power cuts, adding billions of rand to the cost of doing business and household expenses.
In February, the country was greylisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental financial crime watchdog, to force it to implement standards to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.
The FATF greylisting and poor local economic conditions have brought down foreign participation in SA government bonds to 25% from 42% in the last five years, the Bank’s Financial Stability Review (FSR) said.
These local issues were followed earlier in May by a diplomatic stand-off with the US as one of its diplomats accused the country of supplying weapons to Russia, leading to fears of sanctions and to a sharp drop in the rand.
Sanctions on SA would make it “impossible to finance any trade or investment flows, or to make or receive any payments from correspondent banks in dollars”, the report said.
It said the country's domestic financial institutions and financial system remained resilient amid the recent global banking sector turmoil, but a mix of global and local factors could test its strength beyond the next 12 months.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.