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Bank Stocks on JSE Regain Billions Lost When Zuma Fired Nene

  • Index lost almost $10 billion after minister's Dec. 9 removal
  • Outlook for lenders `more positive,' 360ne Asset Management
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South Africa’s banks index rose to levels not seen since before President Jacob Zuma unexpectedly fired Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in December, causing lenders including FirstRand Ltd. and the local unit of Barclays Plc to plummet by records.

The seven-member FTSE/JSE Africa Banks Index climbed 3.2 percent on Thursday in Johannesburg to its highest closing level since Dec. 4. The biggest gainers were Barclays Africa Group Ltd., which rose 4.3 percent, and Standard Bank Group Ltd., the continent’s largest lender by assets, which jumped 3.8 percent. The rand, which tumbled after Zuma’s move, has rebounded to be 1.1 percent stronger against the dollar this year.