December 10, 2019 / 1:42 PM / a month ago

South Africa's rand, Eskom dollar bonds hit by load shedding

LONDON, Dec 10 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand weakened as much as 1% against the U.S. dollar as state power utility Eskom said it planned more load shedding after the flash flooding caused the largest power blackouts in more than a decade.

Eskom’s dollar bonds fell to multi-month lows after the firm announced the move and South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa cut short his state visit Egypt so he could return home and meet with the firm.

Mining operations across the country are shutting down as a result of the blackouts, threatening a key export sector in a further blow to the country’s already slowing economy.

“This flamed concerns that we could see a repeat of the first quarter in which load-shedding was the main culprit behind the economic contraction,” said Jacques Nel at NKC African Economics.

The rand eased 0.9% to 14.8070 per dollar at 1330 GMT. Eskom’s 2023 dollar bond issue was down 1.4, its biggest daily drop in 16 months, to 99.9 cents in the dollar, while the 2025 issue matched those falls, Tradeweb data showed. (Reporting by Tom Arnold, editing by Karin Strohecker)

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