President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday announced dramatic steps to remodel Eskom by splitting it into three state-owned entities dealing with generation, transmission and distribution. He also announced that Eskom would receive financial support from the state, the details of which will be announced in the budget in two weeks’ time. The privatisation of state assets that were considered "strategic to the wellbeing of the economy and the people" would not be entertained, he said. Currency markets cheered the announcement. The rand, which was 0.91% weaker when Ramaphosa started speaking, recouped some of those losses. By the time he finished speaking, it was 0.42% weaker at R13.60. It has gained nearly 6% on the dollar so far in 2019. Eskom’s dollar-dominated bonds maturing in 2028 yielded 5.92%. The yield, which was at 7.19% in November, has dropped on growing investor confidence that the government was moving towards a viable plan for the utility’s survival. Yields move inversely to ...

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