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The banks' sizeable exposure to government debt is one of the key risks to financial stability which the Reserve Bank is watching as it counts the cost of the pandemic — and it is one of the reasons for the Bank's intervention to stabilise the bond market over the past few months.

In its twice yearly Financial Stability Review, released this week, the Bank listed Covid-19, further deterioration in SA's economy and a tightening of global financial conditions as key risks — though it emphasised that SA's financial system was resilient and its banking sector sound, and that both banks and insurers had strong capital buffers...

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