South Africa has disclosed that it turned down a request from Zimbabwe for an emergency loan of $1.2bn (£932m) in December.
 
Treasury spokesman Jabulani Sikhakhane said South Africa did not have "that kind of money".
 
Zimbabwe's government had hoped to use the cash injection to stabilise the ailing economy and resolve fuel shortages in the country.
 
Soon after the request was rejected, Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa was forced to announce a steep increase in the price of fuel - a move which has caused angry protests.
 
Police have violently repressed the protests that broke out mainly in the capital, Harare, and the southwestern city of Bulawayo, with some reports that they were conducting door-to-door searches and using of live ammunition.
 
Human rights groups say at least a dozen people have been killed, but there has been no official confirmation.
 
The UN called on the government to halt the "excessive use of force" by security forces.
 
President Mnangagwa tweeted that he was abandoning plans to attend the Davos economic summit and return home to deal with the crisis.
 
 
Source: BBC
 
The rand fell to a three-month low on Thursday but is slowly recovering against the dollar. Picture: iStock
The rand tumbled to its weakest in three months on Thursday, as emerging market currencies were hit by a wave of risk aversion as fears about global growth intensified.
 
At 9am the rand was 0.6 percent weaker at R14.55 to the dollar, recovering slightly after sliding to R14.89 in the overnight session, its weakest since October 9.
 
The rand was on the backfoot following weak factory data from China on Wednesday and saw losses deepen in tandem with a majority of global currencies after Apple said sales in China and other emerging markets fell last quarter.
 
Apple’s share price fell after chief executive Tim Cook warned shareholders that iPhone sales were slowing faster than expected. Cook said that the company did not foresee the magnitude of the “economic deceleration”, especially in China.
 
The news helped trigger a “flash crash” in currency markets, stoking nervousness about global growth already dampened by the ongoing trade wrangle between the United States and China.
 
Despite this early trade low, the rand gained momentum to trade 0.3% weaker against the dollar by midday. It sat at R14.50 to the dollar at the time.
 
The JSE All Share index, which suffered along with European and Asian stocks on Wednesday amid concerns around a possible slowdown in China, was up 0.8% by midday, with all major indices in positive territory.
 
The rand opened on Thursday at R14.46 to the dollar.
 
 
Source: City Express
In truth, the currency started from a very low base: the Nenegate crisis in 2015.
Its performance this year has not been stellar, but most experts expect it to remain below R15/$ in 2019.
Over the past three years, the rand has been the world's strongest major currency against the dollar.
 
The rand has strengthened by almost 6.3% against the dollar since mid-December 2015, according to data compiled by the independent analyst Johann Biermann. By comparison, the Mexican peso weakened by more than 16% and the Turkish lira lost an almighty 79% of its value. The UK pound fell almost 20% over the past three years as Brexit fears wreaked havoc.
 
Only the Russian rouble, which gained by 6% over this time,  the euro (+3%) and the yen (+6.2%) could keep up with the rand.
 
It is of course worth noting that three years ago the rand was in a very bad state amid the Nenegate crisis.
 
On December 9th 2015, former president Jacob Zuma fired then finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, replacing him with back-bencher Des van Rooyen. 
 
"After all is said and done, the rand has been one of the strongest currencies over the last three years - obviously benefiting from the low base created by Nenegate," Biermann said this week. "Still, not many would've predicted that the rand would outperform these majors in years to come."
 
Unfortunately, 2018 has been tough on the local currency: the rand has lost a painful 14.5% of its value against the dollar - on par with the rouble (-15%) and the Brazilian real (-17%). Even traditionally stable currencies - including the Australian dollar (-8%) and the euro (-6%) - took a hit.
 
The rand/dollar rate over the past five years. (So
The dollar/rand rate over the past five years. (Source: XE)
But most currency experts are not expecting the rand to take a massive hit in 2019.
 
The currency is expected to end 2019 between R12 to R15 a dollar, according to almost 70% of the 160 South African-based bankers, CEOs, CFOs, corporate treasurers as well as foreign exchange and hedge fund executives polled at the Bloomberg Foreign Exchange Summit last week. 
 
The rand will probably trade near R13.40 to the dollar by the end of next year, Standard Bank economist Elna Moolman said, according to a press report.
 
"The expectation is partly based on a dollar story, but also on the assumption that we will see political and policy improvements to support a stronger currency."  
 
Moolman said the next big local events that could influence the rand are the Budget in February, the response from Moody’s (the only agency that has not yet rated South Africa as "junk") and then the natonal elections, expected in May 2019.
 
If the US economy weakens and/or the equity markets fall apart, which means that the Fed won’t hike interest rates by as much as expected, the rand may benefit, according to Biermann.
 
“Also, sentiment towards emerging markets has been very negative in 2018. If it starts to turn, the rand will get a boost."
 
But there are risks – chief among them, Eskom’s R100 billion debt burden.
 
“If government took over the debt, our credit rating will be further downgraded – which will be negative for the rand.”
 
Ratings agencies have also been clear that further slippage in terms of property rights could prompt downgrades, Biermann said. 
 
 
Source: Bloomberg news 
JOHANNESBURG - The rand rose for a fourth straight session on Friday to end the week nearly 3% firmer, benefiting from political chaos in Britain and a revival of risk appetite linked to a thawing of United States (US)-Sino trade tensions.
 
Stocks ended slightly lower, with British American Tobacco taking the most off the benchmark index after the United States announced sweeping restrictions on flavoured tobacco products.
 
At 1530 GMT, the rand was 1.09% firmer at 14.0300.
 
Most of the gains were posted after the dollar wobbled as two Federal Reserve officials cautioned in separate television interviews about slowing global economic growth, raising doubts about the number of future US rate increases.
 
The rally followed Thursday’s strong gains, particularly against the pound, as Prime Minister Theresa May battled to salvage a draft Brexit deal.
 
Growing bets that the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) may raise rates at its policy meeting on Thursday supported the already attractive carry yield offered by the rand.
 
It outpaced most other emerging currencies against the dollar on the day.
 
In a Reuters poll taken this week, 16 of 26 economists said the SARB would keep its repo rate at 6.50% while the rest forecast a 25 basis-point hike.
 
Bonds also rose, with the yield on the benchmark 2026 paper down 4.5 basis points at 9.115%.
 
On the bourse, the benchmark Top-40 index was down 0.17% at 45,851 and the broader All-share index lost 0.1% to 52,095.
 
BAT slumped 6% to R495.67, tracking falls in its London-listed shares. On Thursday the US Food and Drug Administration announced restrictions on flavoured tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, in an effort to prevent a new generation of nicotine addicts.
 
Investment house Reinet Investment was also under pressure, falling 6.7% to R215.58 after the company reported a drop in net asset value, a key profitability measure for investment companies.
 
 
Source: The Routers

A former senior executive of the scandal-ridden VBS Mutual Bank has revealed that a branch manager was ordered to make a R3 million payment to fund the national congress held by the SA Communist Party (SACP) last year, allegedly in exchange for the party’s silence on the bank’s relationship with the controversial Gupta family.

City Press can reveal that Vele Investments, which is the majority shareholder of the soon to be defunct bank, used one of its subsidiary companies to pay the SACP’s R3 million bill for the use of facilities at the Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni.

The senior executive, who was at the centre of the bank’s activities and has requested anonymity, has told City Press how Vele Investments – VBS’s parent company – conspired to use a subsidiary company account to conceal the link to the SACP payment.

The senior executive’s revelations are the first to draw the SACP national office into the VBS saga after it fiercely denied any links to the bank.

 

The ANC has already admitted that it received R2 million from VBS, and has undertaken to pay the money back.

The senior executive alleged this week that a senior SACP official demanded a R3 million payment from former VBS chairperson Tshifhiwa Matodzi to stop making “noise” about VBS’s relationship with the Gupta family.

In January last year, almost a year after the country’s four major banks closed the accounts associated with the Guptas, VBS announced that it was following suit after discussions among the bank’s bosses.

Months later, the SACP learnt that VBS had allowed Gupta entities to open new business accounts.

The senior executive detailed how Matodzi ordered the branch manager to make a R3 million payment a day before the start of the SACP’s national congress.

“On July 6 2017, he [the branch manager] got a WhatsApp message from Matodzi saying that he must make a payment of R3 million for the SACP national congress.

"Matodzi told him that he was getting pressure from SACP leaders to have that payment done because the SACP congress was starting the following day.

“He was instructed to move R4 million from Vele Investments’ bank account to MML Food Services’ bank account.

"From there, R3 million was directly transferred into the Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre’s bank account with the reference of the SACP. This was done to ensure that it cannot be traced.”

MML Food Services is a subsidiary of Vele Investments, which was a majority shareholder in VBS. Matodzi, who was the chairperson of both VBS and Vele, is the central character in the VBS scandal.

Matodzi and his associates have been positively identified as the main beneficiaries of the massive fraud at VBS.

In the explosive forensic report released by the SA Reserve Bank last month, which was authored by Advocate Terry Motau, MML Food Services is mentioned as one the companies that received a R19 million deposit and a R17.5 million facility from sister company VBS.

Matodzi declined to comment yesterday, saying: “I have no comment on anything that has to do with VBS.”

The chief executive officer of MML Food Services, Ronald Letsoalo, and Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre director Jazzman Mahlakgane ignored repeated requests for comment.

The senior executive also revealed that the system had to be programmed to allow the R3 million to go off and be available in the next bank immediately.

“We had to make the payment with RTC [real time clearance]. The intention was to silence SACP leaders from exposing Gupta accounts with VBS,” the senior executive told City Press.

According to the senior executive, a branch manager has the authority to make a payment of up to R1 million.

Any amount above that has to be authorised by the senior executives at the corporate office level.

Another insider within VBS said it appeared that the SACP leaders and VBS executives reached an agreement that R3 million would be paid to cover the costs of the SACP’s national congress.

“It means that there was a prior arrangement. Delegates at the SACP congress enjoyed water and food paid for by VBS,” the insider said.

The senior executive said all the transactions done by the branch manager were ordered by Matodzi.

“He would say to the branch manager via WhatsApp or telegram [a secure communications mechanism]: ‘Pay this much to this account.’ All the things the branch manager had paid for were because he got an instruction from Matodzi.”

The senior executive said the branch manager told investigators about the payment that was made on behalf of the SACP.

“They interviewed him. He told them about the payment he was ordered to make on behalf of the SACP. They omitted to mention that SACP benefited from VBS in the report.”

However, SACP national spokesperson Alex Mashilo denied that the party received money from VBS or Vele Investments.

When asked yesterday about the sponsors of the SACP’s national congress last year, Mashilo said: “It comes across as a generally fishing question to ask who has ever made a donation to the SACP.

“At its special national congress held in July 2015, the SACP published a financial report for the period dating back to its 13th national congress held in July 2012.

"The report published a number of details, including an assessment of SACP membership fees and levies. It also identified a number of donors, of whom the core are trade unions.

"The next financial report, which was made available at the 14th national congress of the party in July 2017, categorised the sources of income received with due regard to the rights of all parties.”

Mashilo said that the party’s record spoke for itself.

“It is utterly unfair to make a sweeping allegation against SACP leaders. The SACP has many leaders. The allegation is obviously senseless 
and dismissed with contempt.

"The SACP is on record [as saying] that, should any incontrovertible evidence of corruption involving the complicity of its members emerge in any scenario, the party will take decisive against that member,” he said.

This week, the SACP in Limpopo suspended its provincial secretary and former Capricorn District Municipality mayor Gilbert Kganyago, whose council illegally deposited R60 million into VBS when he was in charge.

Mashilo said the party had been consistently vocal against the Guptas.

“It is common knowledge that the SACP has been consistently vocal and mobilising against the Guptas’ capture of state authorities in particular and capture of the state in general. The party will not stop, but deepen this just struggle,” Mashilo said.

Matodzi, along with his co-directors and his friend Robert Madzonga, stands accused of facilitating the looting of nearly R2 billion at VBS.

ANC leaders, notably ANC Limpopo deputy chairperson and Vhembe District Municipality mayor Florence Radzilani and treasurer Danny Msiza were also implicated in the Motau report into the VBS scandal.

Radzilani is mentioned in the Motau report as having complained that she “only” received R300 000 for ensuring that millions deposited by the Vhembe District Municipality into VBS were not withdrawn.

Radzilani wrote to ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule last week to deny any involvement in the VBS investment.

Msiza is challenging the report in court.

 

Source: News24

The rand has seen strong gains in recent days – rallying from R15.04/$ to R14.22 in a week.
 
Here are some of the main reasons for its current run:
 
1. Delay in the Moody’s announcement
There was apprehension ahead of the credit rating agency’s latest decision on South Africa’s sovereign debt rating, which was expected last Friday.
 
Moody’s is the only credit rating agency that has kept South Africa at investment rating. But the agency decided not to announce its decision, which is now only expected after the medium-term budget next week.
 
If SA lost its investment rate grade from Moody’s, it would have cost the country its place in the most important group of government bonds. The Citigroup’s World Government Bond Index contains only bonds that are investment grade. 
 
All the massive investment funds that track the index would have been forced to sell their South African government bonds. It has previously been estimated that foreigners would have to sell South African bonds worth R200 billion. This would have lowered the value of our bonds, and make it much more expensive for government to borrow money to keep the country afloat.
 
2. Donald Trump’s attacks on the Fed
The dollar has been taking strain amid the US president’s repeated attacks on his country’s central bank. Trump does not like the fact that the US Federal Reserve is hiking interest rates.
 
 "I think the Fed is making a mistake. It's so tight. I think the Fed has gone crazy," Trump told reporters last week. 
 
Higher interest rates make a currency more attractive: investors in that currency earn a higher rate of return.
 
3. Weaker US inflation
A central bank will hike interest rates to protect an economy from inflation. But the latest US inflation numbers, released last week, show that September inflation is now only 2.3% - from 2.7% in August and 2.9% in July
 
 “I think the Fed will continue on its gradual interest rate hiking path. But for now there seems to be less risk of a sharper-than-expected Fed interest rate hiking cycle,” Arthur Kamp, economist at Sanlam Investments, told Business Insider SA.
 
4. The Mboweni effect
Kamp believes the biggest reason for the rand strength is the appointment of Tito Mboweni as minister of finance.
 
“In policymaking, good track records are important. Of course, Mboweni does not have a track record yet in fiscal policy, but he has a good track record in monetary policy.
 
“Inflation targeting was first implemented (successfully) during his tenure as Reserve Bank governor. From this perspective the Treasury’s support of the current inflation targeting regime and the Reserve Bank’s mandate is likely to continue.
 
“That’s important because in a time of currency volatility the central bank is the anchor for inflation expectations and the currency.
 
“If the bank does what is needed (unfortunately that sometimes implies interest rate hikes) to keep inflation expectations anchored at a low level then there is a good chance the currency will settle – over time,” Kamp said.
 
5. The rand was oversold
Sanisha Packirisamy, an economist at Momentum Investments, believes the rand was unfairly sold off over recent weeks, as the market lumped South Africa with Turkey and Argentina. South Africa is in healthier shape than these countries, she believes.
 
“SA’s current account deficit is smaller than that of Turkey (...) and it has a credible and independent central bank.
 
“Assets in Brazil and SA (and more recently in countries which have done significant amounts of structural reform, including Indonesia, India and the Philippines) have been sold given the depth and liquidity of their markets.
 
“As such, these countries acted as proxies for the countries which experienced economic mismanagement in the last while and were unfairly sold off,” says Packirisamy.
 
When markets are worried about emerging markets, the rand gets hit first because it is a very liquid currency.
 
This means that traders know they can get in and out of the rand very quickly as there are massive amounts being traded in the rand every day. In fact, the rand is the 20th most traded currency in the world – it attracts much more action than the currency of Poland, with an economy 60% bigger than the South African GDP.
 
6. More hope for emerging markets
For a long time, emerging market currencies have been shunned amid concerns about Turkey and Argentina.
 
But a new Bloomberg survey among more than twenty fund managers shows there are more professional investors who are bullish about the prospect of emerging markets, than those who are negative:
 
Forecast for the rand:
Analysts polled by Bloomberg at the end of last month, expected the rand to end the year somewhat weaker than at current levels. The median forecast for the rand versus the dollar by year-end is R14.75.
 
Paul Makube, senior agricultural economist at FNB Agri-Business, thinks that the medium-term budget statement, which will be released on 24 October, will provide some direction for the rand.
 
 
Source: Bloomberg news
So far this year, tax collections seem to be much stronger than expected, which may mean that South Africans will be spared big tax hikes in February’s Budget, says PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
In recent years, government earned much less tax than it expected: the tax shortfall in its budget reached R49 billion last year.
 
This resulted in massive tax hikes over the past two years. In the Budget this year, South Africans were hit with an estimated R36 billion in new taxes.
 
“For the first time in a number of years it is looking likely that further significant tax increases may not be required in the February Budget, something that the government would want to avoid in an election year,” says Kyle Mandy, tax policy leader at PwC.
 
“The good news is that revenue collections for 2018/19 are looking surprisingly good (compared to forecasts) based on the data available to the end of August, despite the economy being in a technical recession,” says Mandy.
 
As at the end of August, total gross tax income was up 11.2% compared to a forecast increase of 10.6%, suggesting collections are on track to exceed the budget revenue forecast in the year ending March 2019.
 
This is largely due to strong VAT income, which grew by 19.5% by August, compared to the budgeted growth of 16.8% for the year, said PwC.
 
VAT was hiked from 14% to 15% in February. Import VAT, which is growing at almost 15% - almost double the forecast growth – is also contributing. And income from the fuel levy, which currently represents some R3.37/litre of the inland petrol price of R17.08, is supporting tax income. 
 
Personal income tax, the single largest source of tax revenue, is looking on track to meet the forecast. Mandy says that this is due in part to the higher-than-budgeted public service wage agreement, which will add R7 billion to the government budget.
 
“This is not a reason to celebrate as it will be net negative for the budget balance unless steps are taken to keep expenditure within the expenditure ceiling set out in the Budget.”
 
It is clear that companies are struggling: by August, corporate income tax was up only 2.8% compared to a forecast of 6.5%.
 
“The big question is what the outlook looks like for the rest of the financial year. Unfortunately, it is difficult to see much in the way of upside, but plenty in the way of downside risks to the forecasts,” Mandy warns.
 
Risks to tax income:
Personal income tax should remain stable for the rest of the year, but corporate income tax could come under more pressure as company profits suffer.
 
Tax income could be hurt even more if government announces in the mini-budget next week that white bread, sanitary products, school uniforms and nappies will be VAT-free from now on. An expert panel has recommended that these products should be free from VAT.  This could shave off up to R6 billion in tax income.
 
 
Source: Business Insider
The rand has been on a seesaw over the past 24 hours hitting above R15 to the US dollar.
 
Currently the rand is at High R14.60 Low R14. 57 to the greenback.
 
The rand has been under pressure for the past few weeks with ratings agencies Moody’s and Fitch citing continued political uncertainty.
 
Rising US interest rates have also had a profound effect on the rand which has plunged to levels last seen in 2016.
 
The local currency has also been volatile this week with economists concerned about the medium-term budget speech later this month.
 
All eyes will be on former Reserve Bank governor and now Finance Minister Tito Mboweni with rating agencies calling for more stability and transparency at the highest level.
 
 
Source: News24
The poor are carrying the burden of State Capture through the VAT increase, a Parliamentary committee has heard.
 
This is just one of the criticisms raised by several organisations and industry representatives before Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance at a hearing on the VAT panel report on Wednesday.
 
The report, published in August, is the work of an independent panel that reviewed the current list of items exempted from VAT and proposed new items to be zero-rated. The panel was constituted after then Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba announced in February that the VAT rate was to increase by one percentage point from 14% to 15% to raise an additional R22.9bn. 
 
1. The poor are paying for State Capture
 
Neil Coleman, who represented the Institute for Economic Justice, said that SA has to try to find ways to plug revenue shortfalls as tax collection has lagged. This problem has further been exacerbated by State Capture, which has reduced revenue to the fiscus.
 
“It should not result in punishment of the poor. We had nothing to do with that failure,” he said. The SA Revenue Service has experienced two successive years of tax shortfalls: R30bn in 2016/17 and R49bn in 2017/2018. 
 
Similarly, trade union federation Cosatu believes the one percentage point VAT hike punishes the poor for the “sins of the rich”. The federation insisted that government has other options to address revenue shortfalls. It wants the state to “stamp out corruption” and set out how it will recover stolen funds.
 
2. Unlikely VAT hike will be rescinded during the mini-budget
 
The Budget Justice Coalition was among the organisations calling for the VAT hike to be rescinded. But committee chair Yunus Carrim pointed out that the mini budget, set to be delivered on October 24, has already been set and it is unlikely that any decisions would be implemented then.
 
Cosatu proposed that government purchase and distribute sanitary pads to clinics, hospitals, no-fees schools and tertiary institutions.
 
“Government has done it with feeding schemes and condoms. Girls should not be disadvantaged because of a normal cycle of life,” said Cosatu’s Parliamentary coordinator Matthew Parks.
 
The Budget Justice Coalition also proposed that government invest in providing sanitary products to poor women and girls – as this will ensure that they will directly benefit from the zero-VAT status, while richer households can continue to buy the sanitary pads. Sanitary pads were one of the items that the VAT panel proposed be zero-rated. 
 
4. More protein needed on the zero-VAT list
 
The Budget Justice Coalition, which represents several other organisations, raised concerns over the lack of protein on the zero-VAT list, a concern as malnutrition and protein deficiency leads to stunting and anemia. It suggested peanut butter and soya mince be included on the list.
 
The South African Poultry Association pointed out that chicken accounts for 13% of food expenditure for lower-income households, and supported the inclusion of whole fresh or frozen chicken products and portions. 
 
5. VAT hike simply unaffordable for the poor
 
The Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group collected data on the impact of the VAT hike by tracking a basket of 38 foods, 20 of which are subject to 15% VAT, the committee heard.
 
In August 2018, the total cost of the basket was R3 009. Foods subject to VAT accounted for 55% of the basket - or R1 654. The VAT on the foods amounted to R215, or 7.2% of the entire basket, said the group's Mervyn Abrahams. This equal to the price of a 35kg of maize meal which poor and working-class households buy each month.
 
Taking into account the recommendations of the VAT panel, the savings on the food basket for August 2018 would equal R40.81, bringing the total cost of the basket to R2 968. Abrahams said this was roughly equivalent to the median wage of a black South African worker, which is R3 000.
 
“That is just food alone - therein lies the problem,” he said. SA households are not getting sufficient income, and that the problem is not just simply a question of zero-rated items, he said. 
 
6. Food choices must be expanded
 
Geoff Penny of the Baking Association of South Africa weighed in on making white bread zero-rated. He said this decision would enable poor consumers to choose the product they prefer.
 
Poor consumers should be given the opportunity to shop with dignity, the baking association’s submission read.
 
Similarly, Dr Ziyanda Majokweni of the Broiler Organisation argued that whole chickens should not be subject to VAT - as opposed to just having portions like chicken feet and gizzards zero-rated. This would give consumers more choice, she told the committee. 
 
7. Double take on current list
 
Lionel Adendorf of FairPlay criticised the fact that the current list 19 zero-rated items was not reviewed. If there were a thorough review of the list the panel would have taken some items off the list, and would have included new household items which are being used by these poorer households, he argued.
 
The PwC’s VAT Partner Lesley O’Conell also echoed views that the current list should be reconsidered to include ones that are consumed by the poor.
 
The committee's chairperson Yunus Carrim called for Treasury to interrogate the submissions more seriously than they had previously.
 
 
Business Insider.

Deep and liquid local debt capital markets have reduced the need for South African companies to borrow abroad, making them less vulnerable to a financial crisis than peers in Turkey and other emerging markets, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

Large external financing needs and a plunging currency are proving a toxic mix for Turkey’s corporate sector. But in South Africa, companies have enough access to local funding, and those that have turned to foreign debt used hedging strategies to cushion the effects of short-term currency fluctuations or buy time to adjust to long-term rand weakness, Moody’s said in a report dated 12 September.

 

In addition, most foreign borrowing by South African companies has been driven by offshore expansion and the debt is serviced with cash flows generated in the same currency, creating a natural hedge to currency weakness, the report said.

“Currency volatility in emerging markets has been one of the key focus areas for investors this year, particularly in terms of how it affects credit risk for companies,” Moody’s analysts lead by Dion Bate said in the report. “Despite continued rand volatility, we expect the credit quality of most South African companies we rate to remain broadly stable during the next 12 to 18 months.”

 
 

Foreign exposure

About 38% of South African non-financial corporate debt is denominated in foreign currencies, according to Moody’s. That compares with 56% for Turkey, or an amount of $336bn, almost triple the borrowers’ assets, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The lira’s 40% slump this year will make servicing those loans more burdensome, lowering capital spending and GDP growth.

Moody’s expects the rand to remain volatile over the next year, driven by how successful the government is in implementing economic reforms, as well as global factors including the US policy path, trade tensions and emerging-market turmoil. That will complicate the operating environment and investment decisions for South African companies, Moody’s said.

News24

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