October 26, 2017 / 10:21 AM / 2 months ago

Ratings agencies shocked by budget - S.Africa treasury spokesman

LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - The big three credit ratings agencies were in “shock” at the state of South Africa’s economy following a post-budget briefing with Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Treasury said on Thursday.

Gigaba spoke to all three ratings agencies - Moody‘s, Fitch and S&P Global Ratings - over the phone after his maiden medium-term budget on Wednesday, spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete told Reuters.

“The reaction is shock at the state of the economy,” said Tshwete.

“They asked specific questions about the wage bill, state-owned companies and low growth,” he said, adding that some of the ratings agencies’ analysts would visit in person soon and meet with the Treasury.

The budget flagged weaker growth expectations and rising government debt, and sent markets sharply lower. (Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo, writing by Karin Strohecker)

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