Rand rallies in response to Gordhan’s defiant stand
THE RAND rallied against the dollar after Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan described fraud charges against him as frivolous.
Stocks rose, led by Naspers which gained on news of plans to sell assets to repay debt and fund new acquisitions.
Investors have been worried that Gordhan, a market favourite, could be removed from his job over the charges, impeding efforts to revive economic growth.
The rand hit a session high of R14.0825 per dollar, up more than 1.1 percent from Thursday’s close, after Gordhan said he would carry on with his job, including delivering a medium-term budget on October 26.
The rand traded at R14.2000 at 1521 GMT, up 0.35 percent, holding its ground after Gordhan’s lawyers said it would be pointless to take up an invitation from prosecutors to seek a review of charges against him.
Government bonds gained alongside the rand, with the yield on the benchmark due in 2026 slipping 9.5 basis points to 8.81 percent.
On the bourse, the benchmark Top-40 index climbed 1.48 percent to 44,658 points while the All-Share index rose 1.29 percent to 51,146 points. Naspers gained 4.70 percent to R2294.99 following news that it would sell its Polish e-commerce business Allegro for $3.25 billion. – Reuters