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JOHANNESBUURG - South Africa plans to use the current optimism around the political changes in the country to tap international bond markets for up to $3 billion“shortly”, the country’s Treasury said on Tuesday.

Tshepiso Moahloli, chief director of liability management at the South African Treasury, told reporters it could potentially issue in currencies other than dollars too and issue in chunks if necessary rather than $3 billion all at once.

“We do take opportunity when the market is conducive and currently the market is conducive,” Moahloli said.

“We are quite opportunistic in the approach that we take.”

She was speaking alongside new South African Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. The country’s final investment grade credit rating is also hanging by a thread, with Moody’s set to decide its fate later this month.

“It is very difficult to read the body language of rating agencies, but I think it is a credible story we are telling,” Nene said.

“If there was a downgrade that would have a negative effect so it is important that we stay the course.”

Nene said he had met senior Moody’s analysts on Monday in London. 

- REUTERS