Fitch Downgrade Looms for S Africa

Fitch Downgrade Looms for S Africa

Investors see more risk in South Africa than in lower-rated Turkey as the creditworthiness of Africa’s second-largest economy looks set to step closer to junk.

The cost of insuring against a default by South Africa’s government for five years using credit-default swaps surpassed that of Turkey on Oct. 23, two days after the government widened its budget-deficit targets and the day riot police battled protesting students on the lawns outside President Jacob Zuma’s office in the capital, Pretoria. The South African contracts are priced 13 basis points higher than those of Turkey, which is embroiled in the Syrian conflict and threatened with sanctions by Russia.

Twelve of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg see Fitch Ratings Ltd. downgrading South Africa to BBB-, one level above junk, later on Friday. Turkey is rated sub-investment by Standard & Poor’s and the lowest investment grade by Fitch. Read more


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