LONDON (Reuters) – The direction of South African politics will probably trump near-term macro-economic performance, particularly for the country’s still-investment grade local currency credit rating, S&P Global said on Thursday.
A downgrade to South Africa’s local currency debt by either S&P or Moody’s would push the country’s bonds out of widely used global bond indexes that rely on investment grades only.
“Politics will probably trump the near-term macro-economic performance in South Africa particularly for the local currency rating,” Frank Gill, one of S&P’s top EMEA sovereign analysts.
He added the firm had expected South Africa to revise down its GDP growth forecasts for this year and next in the budget announced on Wednesday.
“I think the committee will take the view that political and institutional developments matter the most in determining South Africa’s longer term economic prospects and will answer difficult questions about rising contingent liabilities and corruption.”
Reporting by Marc Jones, editing by Karin Strohecker