Traders and investors are nervously awaiting rating agency Moody’s decision Friday night on whether it will keep the country at investment grade or not.
It is the last of the three big rating agencies to keep the country in positive territory. On Wednesday, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni painted a bleak picture of the country’s economy and this may have sent a signal to rating agencies to give South Africa the thumbs down.
Standard and Poor’s Global and Fitch already have the country on sub-investment grade. Government is hoping that Moody’s will keep the country above junk status. But some economists say the agency may change the outlook from stable to negative.
Warwick Lucas is from Galileo Capital,”I think a full on downgrade is a remote possibility. I think Moody’s have been pretty in-depth on how they communicate the process that they go through.”
Saveshen Pillay from Credit Rating Analytics says a downgrade would add a further burden to South Africa’s already poor economic performance.
“If you look at all the countries that have been downgraded, that have lost their final investment grade rating and you look at what happened to those economies. The things that stand out are that the foreign direct investment drops within the year after the investment decision, that would obviously be a negative force because President Ramaphosa is on a drive to bring all the foreign investment in.”