South Africa's rand rallies, SABMiller deal a boost


South Africa’s rand gained against the dollar on Wednesday, boosted by enthusiasm over the potential sale of brewer SABMiller, a deal which could inject as much as 7 billion rand ($521 million) into the economy, analysts say.

The local stock market started slightly in the red, with the benchmark JSE Top-40 index dipping 0.25 percent to 47,524 and the broader All-share easing 0.22 percent to 52,946.


The rand was up 0.68 percent at 13.4625 by 0707 GMT, with traders mainly citing positive sentiment over Tuesday’s news that Anheuser-Busch InBev agreed a deal in principle to buy SABMiller,, which has a secondary listing in Johannesburg.

The National Treasury has, however, said it could try to stop the deal if it leads to erosion of the tax base..

“Markets will keenly follow developments in what could be one of the largest acquisitions in corporate history but news headlines are purely instructive at this stage and will impact the rand once the deal has been inked,” Rand Merchant Bank currency analyst John Cairns said.

The rand’s gains also partly reflected a wobbly dollar as investors bet that the U.S. Federal Reserve will have to wait longer before any policy tightening.

In fixed income, government bonds were a touch weaker compared with Tuesday’s closing levels. The yield for debt maturing in 2026 inched up 1.5 basis points to 8.3 percent.