South African state power utility Eskom plans to sell foreign debt in around two months following an improvement in investor sentiment, its chief executive said on Thursday.
CEO Phakamani Hadebe, who was appointed permanently to the position in May, said that whereas investors and banks were not willing to lend to Eskom last year, they were now approaching their credit committees to seek approval for lending.
The struggling power firm is emerging from corporate scandals and governance issues as well as a string of interim CEO appointments stretching back to 2016.
“We are seeing an increase in appetite from investors. From July last year to January we couldn’t even sell 1 billion rand ($78 million) of debt, but the situation has changed dramatically,” Hadebe said at a briefing on Eskom’s operations.
“We plan a foreign issuance in around two months’ time.”
Eskom would reduce capital expenditure at the firm to R45 billion from R55 billion in the current financial year, he said.
Hadebe has been leading efforts to stabilise Eskom, a company at the heart of corruption scandals surrounding ousted president Jacob Zuma, as interim CEO since January after an intervention by then-Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Zuma has denied any wrongdoing.
Eskom is regularly cited by ratings agencies as one of the main threats to the country’s creditworthiness.