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Gordhan takes swipe at rating agencies

Mar 01 2012 17:38 Sapa

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Johannesburg - Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan took a swipe at international rating agencies on Thursday, saying they were not giving South Africa enough credit for its economic management.

"We really seriously disagree with their assessment... they are not giving us enough credit for managing our economy in a counter-cyclical way," Gordhan said at the launch of the Black Business Council in Midrand.

Moody's Investor Service downgraded the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) over concern about the-lower-than-anticipated toll income.

The day before, Moody's downgraded the debt and deposit ratings of five South African banks: Standard Bank, Absa, FirstRand, Nedbank and Investec.

Moody's and Fitch previously revised South Africa's credit rating downwards.

Gordhan said the rating agencies were shown up for their inadequacies when they did not foresee the European financial crisis of 2008.

"They are now using the European problems as the brush to paint everyone else... they now wish to paint us with the same brush," he said.

This was despite South Africa's good management of its fiscus and debt.

Gordhan said South Africa was doing better than equivalent countries.

He criticised Moody's for downgrading Sanral after he allocated R5.75bn to it in his budget speech last week to ease debt of R20bn incurred in upgrading Gauteng roads.

"We take that initiative... they clearly haven't read our budget documentation," Gordhan said.
pravin gordhan  |  ratings agencies  |  sanral  |  fitch  |  moody's
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