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Johannesburg – Moody’s has affirmed the Bidvest Group at lower medium grade, although the rating has a negative outlook.

This could see it downgraded to a notch above junk. It is currently rated at the same level as Moody’s rates SA, while Fitch and S&P have SA one level above junk.

In a statement released late on Monday, Moody’s said Bidvest – the industrial conglomerate – was affirmed at baa2 on a local currency basis, while its national long-term and short-term ratings were also affirmed.

However, the outlook is negative.

“Today’s [Monday’s] affirmation reflects Bidvest’s stable operational and financial profile, as well as diversified mix of businesses within South Africa”, says Dion Bate a VP and senior analyst at the big 3 ratings agency.

Bidvest’s operations are correlated to the political, social and economic environment in South Africa.