Ratings agencies have gradually been downgrading SA’s sovereign risk rating since 2013. S&P and Fitch awarded junk status to SA in April 2017 following president Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle in which he removed finance minister Gordhan. Yields moved higher during most of 2017 but have fallen sharply after the election of Ramaphosa as ANC President. Bigger counter-cyclical and infrastructure spending by government over the next few years may still cause pressure on the borrowing requirement as a ratio of GDP, implying higher yields.
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