Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago has a fight on his hands to protect the central bank’s $50bn of reserves. More than eight months after the ANC decided the Bank should be state-owned, like most other central banks, the governor says his main concern remains to protect the regulator’s independence and mandate. But also at risk may be billions of dollars in reserves and a legal brawl that could last for years. While the 97-year-old Reserve Bank’s shares are only worth about R20m based on the current share price, some shareholders have argued the Bank’s assets belong to them and they should be compensated for that when the government nationalises the institution, according to Kganyago. Eight percent of its 770 owners are foreigners, so steps to nationalise could be challenged using bilateral investment treaties or end in international arbitration. "This is not a fight I want to be busy with," Kganyago said in an interview in his 32nd-floor office in the capital, Pretoria. "There ...

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