Eskom mulls raising R14bn through new bond

KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON: A shop interior is lit by candlelight during load shedding in Cape Town earlier this year. Eskom has reduced its reliance on diesel-powered generation to keep the lights on, the power utility said in a briefing yesterday.Picture: REUTERS
KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON: A shop interior is lit by candlelight during load shedding in Cape Town earlier this year. Eskom has reduced its reliance on diesel-powered generation to keep the lights on, the power utility said in a briefing yesterday.Picture: REUTERS

ESKOM could raise up to $1-billion (R14.4-billion) through an international bond, the power utility’s chief financial officer said yesterday.

“We are probably looking at anything between $750-million [R10.7-billion] and $1-billion [R14.4-billion],” Anoj Singh said after a briefing by the utility.

“It depends on market conditions, any time we see an opportunity to access the international market, we will take it.”

Eskom had reduced its reliance on diesel-powered generation to keep the lights on, the utility said in a briefing earlier.

Chief executive Brian Molefe also said the utility had met a positive response from investors on a new international bond, but could not say when it would be issued.

“They . . . asked when are we coming back to the market and it gave us an indication that they will be receptive to an international bond, which we will consider. There is no deal on the table,” Molefe said.

Debt rating agency Standard & Poor’s cut Eskom’s credit ratings to junk in March, which could raise its borrowing costs.

The cash-strapped utility is scrambling to repair its ageing power plants and grid to maintain its electricity supply.

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