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New Era Newspaper Monday August 14, 2017

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New Era Newspaper Monday August 14,

Vol. 22 No. 257 Windhoek, Namibia Monday, August 14 2017 EDITORIAL Why we don’t share Moody’s negative outlook The news that Moody’s rating agency in New York had downgraded Namibia’s long-term senior unsecured bond ratings on Friday was met with shock and apprehension by the general Namibian public. The intention of the downgrade was precisely that - to shock and subdue. Many people are rightly concerned about what it means for their families, for the country as a whole, but we should all take a deep breath before we overreact to the opinions of distant people who do not share our interests, or our problems. As a country, we have been through far greater trials, and with prudent planning, frugal use of our resources and determination we will pass through this one. In brief, the bond ratings downgrade means that it will cost the government more to borrow on the world market, as its bonds are now rated as a more risky investment at Moody’s Ba1 grading – which according to their rating system is “a speculative grade bond”, or in common parlance: junk bonds. OUTLOOK on page 2 Inside Today President takes exception to Moody’s congress innuendo President Hage Geingob has hit back at controversial ratings agency Moody’s for its latest downgrade of Namibia’s unsecured bonds to junk status, saying the agency’s premise for its latest verdict on the country’s prospects was purely speculative. Page 3 Government, Moody’s at loggerheads over rating Desie Heita Windhoek Moody’s Rating Agency has downgraded Namibia’s credit rating, saying the country’s financial standing suggests it would be unable to raise enough funds to pay its debts in coming years. The United States of America-based rating agency downgraded Namibia’s long term senior unsecured bond and issuer rating to Ba1 from Baa3, saying the country appears unable to honour its debts, and has not put up sufficient policy measures to contain debt and thus looks unable to raise sufficient revenue to fund government expenditures. Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein, however, expressed serious concern at the sudden downgrade, saying it “essentially put Namibia’s international debt issuance in the category of junk status, an assessment we do not concur with”. He points out that one crucial element that Moody’s ignored is that the country’s foreign exchange reserves increased to 5.3 months of import cover in the second quarter of 2017. “This is a crucial variable in credit worthiness that cannot be ignored. It is puzzling that at a time when Namibia’s import coverage has increased, Moody’s decides to downgrade our credit ratings.” Schlettwein further said Photo: Eveline de Klerk Double murder suspects… Daniel Stefanus Nghilifa, Jerobeam Simon Shidute and Fabianus Lazarus face an additional charge of murder following the death of 82-year-old Siegfried Strzelecki last Thursday. he does not believe domestic economic conditions warrant a downgrade at this point in time. This is because Moody’s also downgraded Namibia’s bonds and bank deposits – both local and foreign. The agency says the factors behind its decision include the “erosion of Namibia’s fiscal strength due to sizeable fiscal imbalances and increasing debt burden”. It also says for the coming years there looks to be “limited institutional capacity to manage shocks and address long-term structural fiscal rigidities” and that there is a “risk of renewed government liquidity pressures in the coming years”. RATING on page 2 Eveline de Klerk Swakopmund Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein Second Swakopmund attack victim dies Siegfried Strzelecki, 82, the second victim of a vicious attack on an elderly couple at their home in Swakopmund last week recently, has died. The three men accused of the attack now face double murder charges. The three men are also accused of robbing the couple at their home in Vineta, Swakopmund, where Strzelecki’s wife, Roswietha, died during the attack. Chief Inspector Erastus Iikuyu, during the weekend’s crime briefing, told the media that Strzelecki was admitted to the Marie Douglas Frail Care Facility in Swakopmund after the brutal attack on him and his wife. His wife succumbed during the attack, after she was severely assaulted. It was reported that her head was slammed against a wall, after which she was strangled. “He, Strzelecki, despite being attacked survived the assault and could successfully identify one of his attackers, who had also previously worked for them. “He, however, unfortunately died due to complications resulting from the attack,” Iikuyu said on Friday. During the attack, the suspects managed to steal only a phone valued at N00, N00 in cash, a remote control of the house, and a pair of sandals belonging to the deceased woman, as they could not get to the contents of the couple’s safe. VICTIM on page 2 16 - 19 August 2017 New Era Newspaper @NewEraNewspaper #NewEraNewspaper • •

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