Eskom’s shareholder may have proved incapable of imposing discipline on the crisis-ridden group, but this week it has, again, been subjected to the discipline of the market. The JSE warned that it could suspend Eskom’s listed bonds if the state-owned utility failed to release its interim results by the end of January. This comes after Eskom missed the end-December deadline, in terms of JSE rules, to publish the results for the six months to end-September. In response, Eskom has promised it will meet the new deadline. But its reluctance to go public with the numbers has raised all sorts of questions in the market about what it might be hiding — questions that will not help to allay the concerns of bond-market investors. They have already imposed their own discipline on Eskom by, in effect, halting new lending to the utility after its June year-end results were qualified by its auditors, who raised the red flag about at least R3bn of irregular spending. Asset managers and bankers have...

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