SA’s financial markets were rattled as President Cyril Ramaphosa came under pressure from opposition parties to accept finance minister Nhlanhla Nene’s offer to quit over undisclosed meetings with the Gupta family. Nervousness among investors pushed government bond yields to their highest level in 10 months, while the rand moved to within 2c of touching R15/$ for the first time in three weeks. Already under pressure from a stronger dollar that has been boosted by the prospect of higher interest rates in the US, the rand was battered by the controversy engulfing Nene, a fortnight before he is due to present the medium-term budget policy statement that may go a long way in determining if SA can avert a credit downgrade that could lead to foreign investors pulling about R100bn from the local bond market. "This event is likely to translate into volatility at best and declining asset prices across the board at worst," said Ashley Dickinson, head of fixed-income dealing at Sasfin Securiti...

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