Bloomberg News

South African Central Bank Statement Not ‘Market Shattering’

February 12, 2012

(Updates with media reports in fourth paragraph.)

Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa’s Reserve Bank will make an announcement tomorrow that contains “nothing market shattering,” Deputy Governor Lesetja Kganyago said.

A joint announcement by President Jacob Zuma, Governor Gill Marcus and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan tomorrow will be “significant,” though won’t impact the currency market, Kganyago said in a phone interview today, declining to comment further.

A central bank statement on its website today said Zuma will hold a press conference with Marcus and Gordhan in Pretoria at 3 p.m. to make an announcement of “national importance.” The rand extended its decline after the announcement amid speculation that senior central bank officials may resign or the government may change the bank’s inflation-targeting mandate.

The announcement won’t have monetary policy implications or involve resignations, Johannesburg-based Business Day reported, citing an unidentified member of the Monetary Policy Committee. The Mail & Guardian said the announcement was of a celebratory nature related to tomorrow’s date, which is the 22nd anniversary of the release of former President Nelson Mandela from prison.

The rand retreated as much as 2.6 percent to 7.7847 per dollar, and traded 1.9 percent weaker at 7.7319 per dollar as of 6:15 p.m. in Johannesburg, the worst performance out of more than 20 emerging-market currencies monitored by Bloomberg.

The last time Zuma held a joint press conference with Marcus and Gordhan was on March 25, when Kganyago was moved from the National Treasury to the central bank as deputy governor. Zuma last held a press conference on a weekend with the central bank in July 2009 when he named Marcus as a replacement for Tito Mboweni for a five-year term from November of that year.

The other two deputy governors are Daniel Mminele, who was appointed in June 2009 and Francois Groepe, who took up his position at the beginning of this year.

--With assistance from Robert Brand in Cape Town. Editors: Gordon Bell, Vernon Wessels

To contact the reporter on this story: Nasreen Seria in Johannesburg at nseria@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net


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