Tag: Moody’s

By Khulekani Magubane for Fin24

Sovereign credit ratings agency Moody’s downgraded South African metropolitan municipalities on Friday citing uncertainty in the strength of their revenue collection and increasing financial pressures.

The downgraded metros are the City of Ekurhuleni, the City of Cape Town, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality and the City of Johannesburg.

Ekurhuleni Water Care and the City of uMhlathuze, which is a local municipality that includes Richards Bay, were also included.

This comes after Moody’s downgraded the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality in June citing liquidity concerns at one of South Africa’s richest municipalities.

As the local government elections draw closer and the finances of South Africa’s 257 municipalities are expected to come under keen focus.

The Auditor General Tsakani Maluleke reported earlier this month that the combined irregular expenditure of all municipalities over the past year amounted to R26 billion.

In the latest report Moody’s said rating downgrades reflect rising liquidity pressure “as a result of material shortfalls in revenue collection” in the context of very weak growth.

“In this environment, the reviews for further downgrade reflect high uncertainty about the RLGs (regional and local governments) capacity to secure financing well in advance of debt and other payments being due,” the report said.

Moody’s said these South African metros were likely to draw down on cash buffers which will heighten the risk that their capacity to absorb future shocks will be eroded.

Moody’s said the decision to downgrade the ratings of the municipalities by one notch reflects the rising liquidity pressures and shortfalls in revenue collection, that Moody’s expects to last as a result of lackluster growth.

“On average rated municipalities generate more than 80% of their operating revenues from fees for services provision. Based on currently available information, very weak growth is likely to result in a more marked decline in their collection rate than Moody’s previously expected,” the agency said.

Moody’s observed that some municipalities reported declines of up to 10% in revenue collection during 2020, which the agency said is likely to be widespread and persistent.

“As a result, Moody’s expects a material deterioration of gross operating balances and cash balances in the 2021 financial year and the 2022 financial year,” the report said.

Moody’s expects the metros will continue struggling to balance operations in the coming years, potential cuts in capital expenditure and an already significant infrastructure backlog, which will be credit negative.

 

Rand breaks through R14/$ threshold

By Dhivana Rajgopaul for IOL

The rand was little changed on Monday although the day’s trading saw the local currency briefly drop below the R14/$ threshold.

The decision by Moody’s Investors Service to let a scheduled rating announcement come and go without taking any action would have provided some support as the spectre of another downgrade would have been on investor minds during the lead-up to Friday.

Favourable sentiment would have been compounded by political developments over the weekend, with further signs that the balance of power in both the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee has swung in favour of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

There is again little hard data expected this week, although Thursday will see the release of the March mining production figures.

At close of local trade, the rand quoted 0.14 percent stronger, at R14.04/$, after trading in range of R13.97/$ to R14.12/$. The rand softened slightly overnight. The expected range of the rand against the dollar today is R13.90/$ to R14.20/$.

South African bourse

The JSE All Share (0.21 percent) ended in the red yesterday after technology shares plunged by 3.15 percent during the local trading session. Investors drew direction from US markets with well-known tech behemoths having also sold off sharply. In the overall emerging market sphere, the MSCI Emerging Market Index (-0.16 percent) traded lower.

Brent crude oil

The Brent oil price fell suddenly towards the later part of yesterday’s European trading session as rising Covid-19 case counts in Asia raised fuel demand concerns. At the close of local trade, benchmark Brent crude futures quoted 1.06 percent lower, at $67.98pb. Crude prices struggled to gain during Asian trade this morning.

 

South Africans may see tax increases soon

Chief economist of the Efficient Group, Dawie Roodt, recently told Business Tech that South Africa’s growing budget deficit may result in further tax increases to help cover the shortfall.

Increased taxes could arise because:

  • Moody’s may downgrade South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to sub-investment grade because of the country’s poor economic figures
  • The fiscus is in deep trouble
  • Debts owed by state-owned enterprises amount to around half a trillion rand
  • SARS is struggling to collect sufficient taxes to cover the government’s growing fiscal deficit

Taxes could take the form of:

  • An increase in personal income tax
  • A VAT hike
  • A potential increase in fuel levies
  • Fiscal drag (when people, who have normal inflation-related increases in pay, jump into new higher tax brackets because the brackets have not also moved up by at least inflation)
  • Stealth, or hidden, taxes

Moody’s deals SA another blow

Moody’s has downgraded the credit ratings of South Africa’s top five banks, three development finance institutions, certain City Power and Sanral credit ratings, and 10 regional and local governments.

In addition, the company downgraded Eskom, Sasol, MTN, ACSA and eight other South African corporates.

The downgrades follow “the weakening of the South African government’s credit profile”, it said in a statement on Monday after the markets closed.

On Friday, rating agency Moody’s downgraded both South Africa’s local and foreign currency rating to Baa3 from Baa2 and maintained a negative outlook.

The five banks – Standard Bank, FirstRand, Absa, Nedbank and Investec – have now all been downgraded to the same level as the country with the same negative outlook.

Reacting to the latest downgrades, Democratic Alliance finance spokesperson David Maynier told Fin24 that “the negative effects of President Jacob Zuma’s ‘midnight cabinet reshuffle’ are spreading like a disease throughout the economy and have now resulted in the downgrade of the five largest banks in SA”.

The rand was not affected by the downgrades and was trading 0.92% stronger against the dollar at 20:40 on Monday. The banks had mixed runs by the close of business and before the Moody’s announcement. Barclays Africa (Absa) was up 1.71%, Nedbank was down 1.95%, Standard Bank was up 0.77%, FirstRand (FNB) was up 0.7% and Investec was down 0.68%.

Regarding the development finance institutions, Moody’s downgraded the long-term foreign-currency issuer ratings of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) and the long term local- and foreign-currency issuer ratings of the Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank) to Baa3 from Baa2.

Land Bank’s local- and foreign-currency and DBSA’s foreign-currency short-term issuer ratings were also downgraded to Prime-3 from Prime-2. The outlook on all long-term global scale ratings is negative. At the same time, the rating agency affirmed the Aa1.za/P-1.za national-scale issuer ratings (NSRs) assigned to DBSA and Land Bank.

Regarding the downgrading of the banks, Moody’s said the primary driver is the challenging operating environment in South Africa, characterised by a pronounced economic slowdown, and weakening institutional strength that has led Moody’s to lower South Africa’s macro profile score to “moderate-” from “moderate”.

“The lower macro profile exerts pressure on the individual factors on banks’ scorecards, and implies that the country’s banks need stronger loss-absorption and liquidity buffers to withstand the headwinds and in order to remain at the same rating levels,” it said.

“The rating agency expects GDP growth of only 0.8% in 2017 and 1.5% in 2018, from 0.3% in 2016, levels significantly below the government’s target growth.

“These challenging economic conditions, combined with potentially weaker investor confidence, volatility in asset prices, and higher funding costs will likely pressure banks’ earnings and asset quality metrics going forward, and challenge their resilient financial performance so far.

“In addition, the banks’ high sovereign exposure, mainly in the form of government debt securities held as part of their liquid assets requirement, links their credit profile to that of the government. The top five banks’ overall sovereign exposure, including loans to state-related entities, averages more than 150% of their capital bases, according to South African Reserve Bank’s regulatory returns as of March 2017.”

List of 13 South African sub-sovereigns that were affected (including Sanral and City Power):

Downgrades

Issuer: City Power Johannesburg

LT Issuer Rating, Downgraded to Baa3 from Baa2

Issuer: East Rand Water Care Company

LT Issuer Rating, Downgraded to Ba1 from Baa3

Issuer: The South African National Roads Ag Ltd

ST Issuer Rating, Downgraded to NP from P-3

LT Issuer Rating, Downgraded to Ba1 from Baa3

Issuer: District Municipality of Amathole

LT Issuer Rating, Downgraded to Ba2 from Ba1

Issuer: Municipality of Breede Valley

LT Issuer Rating, Downgraded to Ba2 from Ba1

Issuer: City of Cape Town

LT Issuer Rating, Downgraded to Baa3 from Baa2

ST Issuer Rating, Downgraded to P-3 from P-2

Senior unsecured MTN, Downgraded to (P)Baa3 from (P)Baa2

Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to Baa3 from Baa2

Issuer: Metropolitan Municipality of Ekurhuleni

LT Issuer Rating, Downgraded to Baa3 from Baa2

ST Issuer Rating, Downgraded to P-3 from P-2

Senior Unsecured MTN, Downgraded to (P)Baa3 from (P)Baa2

Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to Baa3 from Baa2

Issuer: City of Johannesburg

LT Issuer Rating, Downgraded to Baa3 from Baa2

ST Issuer Rating, Downgraded to P-3 from P-2

Senior Unsecured MTN, Downgraded to (P)Baa3 from (P)Baa2

Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Downgraded to Baa3 from Baa2

Issuer: Metropolitan Municipality Mangaung

LT Issuer Rating, Downgraded to Ba2 from Ba1

Issuer: Municipality of Mbombela

LT Issuer Rating, Downgraded to Ba2 from Ba1

Issuer: Metropolitan Municipality Nelson Mandela

LT Issuer Rating, Downgraded to Baa3 from Baa2

Issuer: Municipality of Rustenburg

LT Issuer Rating, Downgraded to Ba2 from Ba1

Issuer: City of Tshwane

LT Issuer Rating, Downgraded to Ba2 from Ba1
Affirmations

Issuer: City Power Johannesburg

LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed Aa1za

Issuer: East Rand Water Care Company

LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed Aa3za

Issuer: The South African National Roads Ag Ltd

LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed Aa3za

ST Issuer Rating, Affirmed P-1za

Issuer: District Municipality of Amathole

LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed A2za

Issuer: Municipality of Bergrivier

LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed Ba3

Issuer: Municipality of Breede Valley

LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed A2za

ST Issuer Rating, Affirmed P-1za

Issuer: City of Cape Town

ST Issuer Rating, Affirmed P-1za

LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed Aaaza

Senior unsecured MTN, Affirmed Aaaza

Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Aaaza

Issuer: Metropolitan Municipality of Ekurhuleni

ST Issuer Rating, Affirmed P-1za

LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed Aaaza

Senior Unsecured MTN, Affirmed Aaaza

Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Aaaza

Issuer: City of Johannesburg

ST Issuer Rating Affirmed P-1za

LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed Aa1za

Senior Unsecured MTN, Affirmed Aa1za

Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Affirmed Aa1za

Issuer: Metropolitan Municipality Mangaung

LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed A1za

ST Issuer Rating, Affirmed P-1za

Issuer: Municipality of Mbombela

LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed A2za

Issuer: Metropolitan Municipality Nelson Mandela

LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed Aa1za

Issuer: Municipality of Rustenburg

LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed A1za

Issuer: City of Tshwane

LT Issuer Rating, Affirmed A1za

ST Issuer Rating, Affirmed P-1za
Upgrades

Issuer: Municipality of Bergrivier

LT Issuer Rating, Upgraded to Baa1za from Baa2za

ST Issuer Rating, Upgraded to P-2za from P-3za

Outlook Actions:

Issuer: City Power Johannesburg

Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

Issuer: East Rand Water Care Company

Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

Issuer: The South African National Roads Ag Ltd

Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

Issuer: District Municipality of Amathole

Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

Issuer: Municipality of Bergrivier

Outlook, Changed To Negative From Stable

Issuer: Municipality of Breede Valley

Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

Issuer: City of Cape Town

Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

Issuer: Metropolitan Municipality of Ekurhuleni

Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

Issuer: City of Johannesburg

Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

Issuer: Metropolitan Municipality Mangaung

Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

Issuer: Municipality of Mbombela

Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

Issuer: Metropolitan Municipality Nelson Mandela

Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

Issuer: Municipality of Rustenburg

Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

Issuer: City of Tshwane

Outlook, Changed To Negative From Rating Under Review

Ratings not affected:

Issuer: City of Tshwane

ST Issuer Rating, NP

Issuer: Metropolitan Municipality Mangaung

ST Issuer Rating, NP

Issuer: Municipality of Breede Valley

ST Issuer Rating, NP

Issuer: Municipality of Bergrivier

ST Issuer Rating, NP

By Matthew le Cordeur for Fin24

 

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My Office News Ⓒ 2017 - Designed by A Collective


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