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Zuma invites foreign investors as South Africa avoids 'junk status' rating

South Africa

South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma is assuring foreign investors that his country is still a good place to invest as all three major international rating agencies kept the country’s investment-grade status.

Ratings agencies Fitch and Moody’s maintained South Africa’s credit rating and sovereign rating at investment levels last week.

Moody’s maintained the sovereign rating at Baa2, two levels above sub-investment while Fitch placed the investment grade credit one notch above junk status.

Although the third ratings agency, Standards and Poors on Friday downgraded the local debt of the country by one notch, it retained the sovereign credit rating at one level above junk status.

This comes as a great relief to the embattled Jacob Zuma who has been embroiled in a several allegations of corruption for which he is expected to face the party’s integrity commission this weekend.

Finance minister, Pravin Gordhan has also been subjected to prolonged investigations which rattled the country’s financial markets.

But in a statement from the presidency, Zuma “assured international investors that South Africa remains an important and strategic investment destination”.

In the face of mounting pressure from the rating agencies and rising unemployment, Zuma has also called for a focus on boosting growth and job creation as the economy is projected to grow by only half a percent this year.

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