UPDATE 1-S&P revises Botswana’s outlook to ‘stable’ on strong recovery in diamond sector

(Add information on diamond sales, economic forecasts)

Sept. 17 (Reuters) – Rating agency S&P on Friday revised its outlook for Botswana from “stable” to “negative”, saying that an economic rebound, supported by a strong recovery in the diamond sector, would lead to an improvement in prices. budgetary and external performance over the next two years.

“We expect Botswana‘s economy dependent on diamond exports to rebound 8.5% in real terms in 2021 as the diamond industry rebounds from the large pandemic-induced contraction of 2020,” S&P said https: //disclosure.spglobal.com/ratings/en/ regulatory / article / – / view / type / HTML / id / 2723490.

Botswana last month raised its economic growth forecast for 2021 to 9.7%, from 8.8% in February, due to rising diamond sales and a recent rebasing of GDP accounts.

The recovery in demand for diamonds, particularly in China and the United States, also helped fuel a 41% jump in rough diamond sales at Debswana Diamond Company, a joint venture between the government and De Beers of Anglo. American, in the first half of 2021..

S&P also noted that Botswana was making reasonable progress on immunization despite global supply constraints earlier this year, with its vaccination rate comparing well with other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The agency confirmed Botswana’s ratings at “BBB + / A-2”, saying the stable and predictable institutional framework continues to support its ratings and the monetary policy framework supports macroeconomic stability. (Reporting by Nishara Karuvalli Pathikkal in Bangalore; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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