(Recasts with confirmation)
JOHANNESBURG, April 10 South Africa's bourse
said on Monday it was investigating certain trades in the hours
before former finance minister Pravin Gordhan was recalled from
an international investor roadshow, days before he was dismissed
from the government.
On March 27, 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 JSE (Johannesburg Stock Exchange) is reviewing trading
in affected securities prior to the news of the recall ... as
that news precipitated material moves in the value of numerous
listed securities including currency futures," JSE Limited
, which operates the bourse, said in a statement.
“As a matter of procedure the JSE Market Regulation Division
reviews trading activity in its listed securities ahead of any
market moving event to identify any activity which may warrant
further investigation by the Department of Market Abuse at the
Financial Services Board (FSB)," it said.
It added it would forward its findings to the FSB once they
The rand weakened by about 2.5 percent ahead of the news,
according to Thomson Reuters data, falling further after the
recall was confirmed.
Speculation of large bets on currency futures at around the
same time as Gordhan's recall surfaced, causing market watchers
to speculate the currency was being "shorted", local media
Short-selling refers to the selling of instruments that have
been borrowed, in anticipation of a fall in prices.
(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Ed Stoddard/Jermey