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SA bonds more highly rated than US government bonds

Johannesburg, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 12 August 2011 – Bonds of  South  African national power utility Eskom and national transport utility Transnet  are now more highly rated than United States government bonds, according to the latest ratings by Fitch and Moody’s Investment Services.

After revising the parastatal’s  outlook last month,  Fitch reaffirmed Eskom’s national long-term rating at AAA(zaf), with a stable outlook, according to Business Day.  The agency also affirmed Transnet’s government-guaranteed bond issue at AAA(zaf)

Reporting this here, The Mail and Guardian  newspaper said these new ratings meant that the two South African utilities were now more creditworthy  than the United States, after rating agency Standard & Poors (S&P) had downgraded the country’s rating from the top-notch AAA on Friday to AA-.

The favourable rating would ease the cost of borrowing in the international markets for both Eskom and Transnet, both of which were currently seeking funds for multi-billion rand expansion programmes.

S&P adjusted the ratings and outlooks of the two parastatals in January, moving Eskom up to stable from negative.