S&P keeps South Africa in 'junk' status, sees post-election reforms

 S&P keeps South Africa in junk status, sees post-election reforms

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - S&P Global Ratings kept South Africa's foreign- and local-currency credit ratings in "junk" territory with a stable outlook late on Friday, saying the new government was expected to focus on reforms to revive the economy.

Newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa has pledged to rekindle growth by fixing state firms, easing policy uncertainty and luring back foreign investment that dried up in the last decade under his predecessor Jacob Zuma.

S&P kept the country's long-term foreign-currency rating at 'BB', while the long-term local-currency rating was held at 'BB+'. Both carry a stable outlook. The ratings agency made the same assessment in November 2018 after slashing the rating in 2017.

Fitch Ratings also rates Pretoria's debt as junk. Of the top three ratings firms only Moody's classifies the sovereign as investment-grade.

"The stable outlook reflects our view that, with the elections now over, the South African government will pursue some reforms and attempt to improve economic growth and try and contain fiscal deficits," the firms said in a statement.

Ramaphosa was sworn in as South Africa's president on Saturday, vowing to create jobs and tackle deep-rooted corruption that has strangled economic growth.

(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Helen Popper)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Your guide to the latest cricket World Cup stories, analysis, reports, opinions, live updates and scores on https://www.firstpost.com/firstcricket/series/icc-cricket-world-cup-2019.html. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates throughout the ongoing event in England and Wales.

Updated Date: May 26, 2019 00:05:16 IST