Moody’s downgrades SA’s credit rating

Moody’s placed South Africa on review for a downgrade in April after finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy were sacked.

FILE: Moody's. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - Ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded South Africa one notch to BAA3 – one notch above subinvestment grade.

Moody’s placed South Africa on review for a downgrade in April after finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy were sacked.

Last week, rating agencies S&P Global reaffirmed their subinvestment grade at BB+.

The latest GDP figures show that South Africa has entered a technical recession, with economists saying this has put more pressure on agencies to review the way they see the country’s economy.

GDP contracted by 0.7% in the first quarter, along with a contraction on 0.3% in the last three months of 2016.

Ratings agencies have cited poor economic growth and political infighting as two major contributors to a lower rating.

S&P Global has kept the country’s currency rating at BBB-.

Fitch has its outlook as stable, while S&P Global has its as negative.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has called for a meeting with business leaders soon to come up with a strategy to improve overall business confidence.