Fitch places utility on rating watch negative (RWN) and affirms guaranteed debt rating


Fitch Ratings has placed Eskom’s long-term local currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and unguaranteed local currency senior unsecured ratings of ‘BB+’ on Rating Watch Negative (RWN). The rating agency has affirmed the government- guaranteed local currency senior unsecured debt ratings at ‘BB+’ and also placed the National long-term rating of ‘AAA’ and National short-term rating of ‘F1+’ on RWN.

“We note the decision by Fitch to place Eskom’s IDR on RWN and this reflects the need for the ratings agency to assess Eskom’s links to the government given weakening liquidity and funding access. Eskom is confident that the liquidity challenges it faces will be resolved and the funding initiatives planned until the end of the financial year will alleviate the pressure,” said Calib Cassim, acting chief financial officer.

Sean Maritz, Interim Group Chief Executive said: “The support from the Minister to appoint the remaining board of directors will demonstrate commitment to enhance Eskom’s corporate governance structure. We remain focused on improving corporate governance to address liquidity challenges in the near term to avert a downgrade”

Eskom’s ratings have dipped and climbed over the course of the last year’s, often driven by the fortunes of the South African economy.  Eskom has, over recent months, been under pressure from multiple sources, and has been under investigation for alleged financial mismanagement and lack of sufficient corporate governance.