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FSB probes trades around Gordhan recall

The JSE said in April it was probing the trades involving currency futures and would forward its findings to the FSB once they were finalised.

FILE: Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's Financial Services Board (FSB) is probing certain trades made in the hours before former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was recalled from an investor roadshow and then dismissed, an official said on Tuesday.

The Johannesburg bourse said in April it was probing the trades involving currency futures and would forward its findings to the FSB once they were finalised.

On 27 March, news broke that President Jacob Zuma had ordered Gordhan to return immediately from a trip to Britain and the United States, roiling local markets. Gordhan was later dismissed in a Cabinet reshuffle.

"The investigation is on-going," Solly Keetse, head of Market Abuse at the FSB, told Reuters, adding that the FSB would make its findings known in due course.

The rand weakened about 2.5% ahead of the news, according to Thomson Reuters data, falling further after the recall was confirmed, while the banking index on the bourse fell 4.73%.

The Rand reacts to Gordhan recall.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

Standard & Poor’s Global was the first ratings agency to respond to the Cabinet reshuffle, with it downgrading South Africa's sovereign credit rating to junk status on 3 April.

Fitch followed suit 4 days later.

Moody's has placed the country’s sovereign credit rating on review. This will allow it to assess these risks and if the changes in leadership signal a weakening in the country's institutional, economic and fiscal strength.

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