Standard and Poors downgraded our offshore foreign debt, not ZAR debt. This is about 10% of total SA debt. Technically we’re not junk as that requires two agencies to rate us junk. But all said this is bad and expected and our portfolios should have been ready and waiting.
It took countries like Uruguay, Croatia, Ireland etc. on average 7 years to regain their investment grade status after falling to junk! Columbia took 12 years and over the last 19 years, S&P has downgraded 23 countries to junk status, of those only 6 recovered, shortest recovery time was 5 years.
How does it hurt? Debt costs for the country go up, so higher taxes and less government spending. Interest rates higher and rand weaker putting pressure on the middle class. Poor will be hurt with real damage is done to the middle class.
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