SA officially in the junkyard
Malusi Gigaba's first week in office has been a baptism of fire as South Africa's fourth finance minister in just more than a year with two of the world's three leading credit-ratings agencies downgrading the country's creditworthiness to "junk". Spooked by President Jacob Zuma's wholesale changes to his cabinet last week and by the political fallout that followed, Fitch Ratings on Friday lowered the country's foreign and local currency debt to junk. S&P Global Ratings had already cut the long-term foreign currency debt rating to junk (BB+). Moody's is expected to follow suit soon. "Two out of three ratings agencies have junk-graded us, so we are officially junk," said Iraj Abedian, economist of Pan African Advisory. "It means that a lot of fund managers who are not allowed to be in areas or in countries that are junk-rated will have to pull out of South Africa. When S&P downgraded us, it meant more money wouldn't come into the country, but now it means that those who are in the cou...
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