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Standard & Poor's cuts outlook for S. Africa from 'stable' to 'negative'

JOHANNESBURG -- Ratings agency Standard & Poor's on Wednesday cut South Africa's outlook from “stable” to “negative,” citing slow economic growth and persistently high unemployment rates.

“The negative outlook reflects the potential for a downgrade if economic and social problems feed into the political debate in the run-up to the 2014 national and provincial elections and consequently further put pressure on the policy framework,” S&P said in a statement.

The agency reaffirmed its foreign currency ratings on South Africa at BBB+, and noted its moderate fiscal and external debt. That has given the country fiscal flexibility and helped South Africa weather the recent global downturn.

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