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'PIC lost R100bn within 48hrs of Nene’s axing'

The PIC is one of the largest investment managers in Africa, with about R1.8 trillion in assets.

President Jacob Zuma.

CAPE TOWN - State-owned investment group the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) lost nearly R100 billion within 48 hours of President Jacob Zuma firing of former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in December.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament (MP) David Maynier asked PIC CEO, Dr Daniel Matjila, about the impact of Zuma's decision, which sent the rand into a tailspin, at a meeting of Parliament's Standing Committee on Finance earlier today.

Zuma replaced Nene with the little known African National Congress (ANC) MP, Des van Rooyen - but was forced to replace him within a few days with Pravin Gordhan to stem the turmoil on the markets.

"The PIC first conceded that they had lost R106.2 billion, they then corrected themselves and said they had lost R99 billion - within 48 hours of 9 December."

The PIC is one of the largest investment managers in Africa, with about R1.8 trillion in assets.

It invests funds on behalf of the Government Employees' Pension Fund, among other public sector entities.

Maynier says Matjila assured the committee the PIC had been able to claw back some of the losses, but that he gave no specific details.

The DA MP says the loss shows President Zuma was wrong when he claimed the impact of his decision to change finance ministers had been exaggerated.