Moody's: Downgrade still a possibility in 2017

Ratings agency Moody’s has said that South Africa will face several key ratings decisions this year, and that the possibility of a downgrade still looms.

According to Alastair Wilson (pictured), Moody's MD of sovereign risk, 25% of the world's sovereigns are on a negative outlook - the highest proportion since 2012. However, Wilson believes that the situation in SA is salvageable.

Wilson was quoted by Reuters as saying:

"Certainly it's fair to say (political) noise has risen in recent months, but that isn't necessarily significant from a credit perspective. South Africa's institutional strength had also been bolstered by a key court throwing out a recent fraud case against the country's finance minister."

Moody's currently rates SA at Baa2, one notch higher than fellow ratings agencies S&P and Fitch, and two notches above junk status. It currently has the country at a negative outlook.