JOHANNESBURG, June 12 Ratings agency Moody's has
downgraded five of South Africa's largest banks to Baa3 with a
negative outlook after the country's credit rating was
downgraded last week.
The long-term local and foreign currency deposit ratings of
Standard Bank, FirstRand, Absa Bank,
Nedbank and Investec Bank were downgraded
to Baa3 on Monday, one notch above non-investment grade.
The ratings agency also downgraded Standard Bank's long-term
local and foreign currency issuer ratings to Ba1 from Baa3.
Moody's said the primary reason for the downgrade was
weakening credit and macro profile of the South African
government exerting pressure on banks in what it said was a
challenging operating environment characterised by a pronounced
The ratings agency downgraded other South African banks to
one notch above sub-investment grade including the Development
Bank of Southern Africa, the Industrial Development Corporation
of South Africa and the Land and Agricultural Development Bank
of South Africa.
Moody's downgraded South Africa's credit rating on Friday
but kept it at investment grade with a negative outlook, citing
a recent cabinet reshuffle and reduced growth prospects for an
economy mired in recession.
(Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; Editing by David Goodman)