Johannesburg - Credit agency Moody's on Monday cut its
rating for power utility Eskom, fixed-line operator Telkom [JSE:TKG] and 12
municipalities, following a similar downgrade of Africa's top economy last
It also lowered its outlook on miner Gold Fields [JSE:GFI]
to "stable" from "positive", citing concern about the
impact of labour unrest on South Africa's mining industry.
The agency said in a statement it cut Eskom's senior
unsecured bond rating by one notch, to Baa3 from Baa2, a move that could drive
up borrowing costs for the utility as it looks to fund infrastructure spending.
The state-owned utility is expected to tap the bond market
for some of a planned R300bn in funding.
Moody's made a similar cut to Telkom's rating, which was
also lowered to Baa3, while 12 local governments had their long-term ratings
The agency on Thursday cut the government bond rating of
Africa's top economy by one notch, citing worries about the negative investment
climate - from creaking infrastructure to concerns about future political
Investor sentiment has been soured by a series of wildcat
strikes in the mining industry in recent weeks, which have hamstrung production
in the world's top platinum producer and No.4 gold producer.
Critics have also charged that the strikes have exposed
President Jacob Zuma's ANC as ineffectual and out of touch with millions of
poor South Africans.
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