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Zuma Makes U-Turn on Finance Chief, Triggering Rand Rebound

  • Gordhan will stick to spending ceiling in budget, Zuma says
  • Markets will welcome news, Standard Chartered's Khan Says
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Zuma's U-Turn on Finance Minister Shifts Rand

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South African President Jacob Zuma named his second finance minister in four days after criticism from business groups and his own party, sparking a rebound in the rand and bonds.

Zuma reappointed Pravin Gordhan following market turmoil that sent the rand to record lows and bond yields to the highest in seven years. The president provoked outrage and an investor exodus on Dec. 9, when he fired Nhlanhla Nene, who had held the post for about 18 months, and replaced him with a little-known lawmaker, David van Rooyen. On Sunday, Zuma said he made the change “after receiving many representations to reconsider my decision.” The rand jumped the most since 2008, while bond yields fell for the first time since Nov. 24.