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Gigaba knew about S&P move to downgrade SA to junk 4 days ago

Apr 04 2017 12:35

Pretoria - Standard & Poor’s informed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Friday that they intended downgrading South Africa to junk status, or non-investment grade.

Rating agencies normally give government's 48 hours notice when they downgrade their sovereign bonds to junk status.

READ: Banks tumble as junk rating puts earnings at risk

Gigaba said he had spoken to rating agencies during a Saturday press briefing, but he said on Tuesday: “I did not mention S&P”.

“Because when I walked in to office on Friday, they had already taken their decision.

“They did afford us the courtesy of informing us. By Friday already when I arrived, the decision had been made.

“We felt at that point it was not necessary to talk to them because we were not going to change the decision.

“We are intending to talk to them going forward, so there are plans … because the detail of my meeting with them has not been finalised,” he said during a press conference.

S&P announced their decision to downgrade South Africa on Monday evening. Moody's followed shortly afterwards, placing South Africa on downgrade review.

READ: Gigaba now faces stark economic realities - financial expert

Fin24's Lameez Omarjee is at the media briefing in Pretoria:

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