Rand ral­lies in re­sponse to Gord­han’s defiant stand

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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