April 26, 2018 / 12:48 PM / a month ago

South Africa hires banks for international bond issue - National Treasury

LONDON, April 26 (IFR) - South Africa has mandated banks for a Eurobond issuance, according to the National Treasury.

The sovereign hopes to take advantage of better investor sentiment towards the country following the replacement of Jacob Zuma as president by Cyril Ramaphosa in February.

Moody’s changed its outlook on South Africa to stable from negative on March 23, based on its view that a previous weakening of South Africa’s institutions will gradually reverse under a more transparent and predictable policy framework. It maintains a Baa3 rating.

S&P, which rates South Africa at BB, also revised its GDP forecasts for the country upwards, and urged the country to continue with reforms. Fitch rates South Africa BB+.

Tshepiso Moahloli, the chief director of liability management at the Treasury, told reporters in March that South Africa it could potentially tap international bond markets for up to US$3bn “shortly”.

He added that the sovereign could issue in currencies other than dollars and print in chunks if necessary rather than selling US$3bn all at once.

The sovereign raised US$2.5bn last year in its first transaction since being downgraded to junk status by S&P and Fitch. (Reporting by Robert Hogg; Editing by Sudip Roy)

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