(Recasts with confirmation)
JOHANNESBURG, April 10 (Reuters) - 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 are finalised. 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 reported.
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 Gaint)