The one positive of this, even if some of it is depressing, is that there'll be life on the other side, writes Adriaan Basson.
The impact of the coronavirus crisis will probably completely overshadow the Moody’s downgrade.
Most analysts may be predicting South Africa will lose its last investment-grade rating, but derivatives traders couldn't care less.
Moody's announced that the rating of Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, in the Free State, has been downgraded three notches from Ba3 to B3.
The ratings agency says in 2019 and 2020, when it expects SA's economic growth rate to pick up to near 2%, per capita GDP increases will largely be cancelled out by population growth.
Ratings agency Fitch has kept South Africa's sovereign credit rating at junk status and has affirmed a stable outlook, based on governance recoveries at state-owned enterprises.
Global ratings agencies S&P acknowledges the reforms being undertaken by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration but flagged “considerable” challenges to improving the country’s financial position.
The Presidential Fiscal Committee and Cabinet will meet in the next two weeks to work out plan that could spending cuts or tax increases of R40bn to strengthen the fiscus.
South African banks are preparing for the worst when it comes to the threat of another downgrade of the country’s debt.
Recent challenges to SA's institutions have eroded their strength although the country is still "well balanced", says rating agency Moody’s.
Corruption has increased under President Jacob Zuma’s tenure, and removing him will be positive for the business environment, says the head of Business Leadership SA.
By Renee Eagar, CFP Professional
Losing its investment grade is not the end of the world – other countries, like Brazil, have been junk for years.
Ratings agency Fitch on Thursday kept South Africa's sub-investment grade credit rating unchanged at BB+ with a stable outlook.
S&P affirmed SA's long-term local currency debt at BB+, the first notch of sub-investment grade. It kept the country's long-term foreign currency rating at BB, which is two notches below investment grade.
South Africa could improve its ratings and move back into investment grade territory if there was sustained economic growth and fiscal outcomes, according to Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings.
Government bonds have rallied, while the rand and stocks gained as the budget convinced most investors the country is doing enough to stave off another credit-rating downgrade.
South Africa will confront the threat of a debt selloff of about R100bn this week as it awaits two concurrent judgments on its credit status.
South Africa is not necessarily in a crisis, according to Lesiba Mothata, executive chief economist at Alexander Forbes Investments.
South Africa’s four biggest banks, pummelled by political wrangling and enmeshed in economic malaise, are increasingly shying away from their main role: lending.
Every African nation that has sold dollar debt has at least one junk rating.
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