President Cyril Ramaphosa with IMF chief Christine Lagarde at the Invest in South Africa Private Roundtable in New York September 26 2018. Picture: GCIS/ ELMOND JIYANE
President Cyril Ramaphosa with IMF chief Christine Lagarde at the Invest in South Africa Private Roundtable in New York September 26 2018. Picture: GCIS/ ELMOND JIYANE

New York/Johannesburg — The rand has led gains among its major peers after President Cyril Ramaphosa said the currency has weakened too steeply against the dollar and vowed that his plans to carry out land reform won’t cause mayhem.

“The rand is undervalued at the moment,” Ramaphosa said on Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg Television in New York, where he’s been attending the UN General Assembly. “We want the rand to be well-balanced [so] as to be able to support the economic trajectory of country.”

The rand is back in vogue as sentiment improves locally and globally, Nedbank analysts Mehul Daya and Walter de Wet wrote in a note to clients. For Société Générale, the rand’s rally in the past three weeks is just a temporary blip, with more weakness in store as poor fundamentals and an unfavorable external backdrop weigh on the currency.

Others, including Standard Chartered, see the currency as undervalued and due for further gains, though perhaps not quite yet.

The rand climbed 1.2% to $14.1911 at 12.38pm in New York, the most among the 31 most-traded currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

In addition to the comments on the currency, Ramaphosa said his administration will pursue plans to redistribute land to the country’s black majority and is still considering whether constitutional amendments are necessary to make it easier to expropriate property without compensation.

With George Lei, Francine Lacqua and Paul Richardson.

Bloomberg