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SA junk rating seems inevitable – economists

Nov 20 2016 06:01
Bloomberg

Should South Africa avoid having its credit rating cut to “junk” in the next two weeks, it could just be staving off the inevitable.

More than half of 12 economists surveyed by Bloomberg said S&P Global Ratings would strip the nation of its investment-level rating.

The median probability of South Africa retaining its current assessment is 45%, falling to only 20% in 2017, the survey shows.

South Africa faces a cut to junk on its foreign-currency credit rating as output is forecast to expand at the slowest pace this year since 2009, delaying the government’s plans to narrow the shortfall on the budget and rein in debt.

S&P is scheduled to announce its assessment – which is at the lowest investment grade and has a negative outlook – on December 2 and Moody’s Investors Service will publish the review of its rating, currently one level higher than S&P’s, on November 25.

Fitch Ratings hasn’t yet set a date for its assessment. Bloomberg

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