JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s rand was little changed in early deals on Thursday, largely holding on to gains notched up overnight after President Jacob Zuma resigned.
* At 0608 GMT, the rand was at 11.7300 against the dollar, barely changed from its overnight close 11.7200 in New York and not far from levels last seen in March 2015.
* The rand has been rising since December last year on signs that Zuma – under whose tenure Africa’s most advanced economy has hardly expanded – could be ousted even before his second term as president ends in 2019.
* The 75-year old leader resigned on Wednesday, reluctantly heeding orders by the ruling African National Congress to bring an end to his nine scandal-plagued years in power.
* “The removal of President Zuma is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. Financial markets, investors and business owners are not going to be distracted by the early removal of yet another sitting president for much longer and the attention will turn to what the new order intends to do and when it will do it,” NKC African Economics said. (Reuters)