As Eskom's Woes Roil South Africa, One Asset Isn't Bothered
(Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s dollar-bond yields aren’t too bothered by electricity blackouts.
While rand-denominated government yields due in December 2026 rose to their highest levels in three weeks, and the rand was the worst performer in emerging markets on what was generally an up day for its peers, South Africa’s dollar-bond yields edged lower. The move came even after a parliamentary report which showed that Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the state-owned electricity company, would run out of money by April in the absence of government help.
Investors were looking forward to Feb. 20, when the national budget is scheduled to be presented to lawmakers, said Trieu Pham, an emerging-markets strategist at ING Groep NV in London. But for today, the risk-on in global markets was outweighing the domestic story.
“There is risk of a negative rating action no doubt, but this should be partially priced in as this risk has dragged on for a long time, and investment grade-sensitive investors in hard-currency bonds have already been out since the last round of downgrades,” said Pham.
Yields on dollar bonds due October 2028 fell 1 basis point to 5.34 percent. Yields on benchmark rand bonds climbed 9 basis points to 8.89 percent by 3:55 p.m. in Johannesburg. The rand weakened 2.2 percent to 14.0644, weakening above 14 for the first time since early January, and traded at 14.0497 as of 7:35 a.m. in Johannesburg on Thursday.
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