Cape Town. 100219. South Africa is coming out of its first recession in almost two decades reasonably rapidly, says Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus. Marcus also said monetary policy remains directed towards containing inflation. The central bank has cut rates by 500 basis points since December 2008, and left the repo rate flat at 7,0% at its last four meetings. Picture Mxolisi Madela

The Reserve Bank‚ in conjunction with the National Treasury‚ bought approximately $4 billion of foreign exchange in the financial year ended March 2012.

Releasing its annual report for 2011/12 on Wednesday‚ the Reserve Bank said the foreign exchange accumulation was in an attempt to contribute to “greater stability” in the foreign exchange market.

These measures have‚ however‚ not had meaningful impact as the rand continues to respond more to external developments including the slowdown in European economies and sovereign debt woes in that region.

“The process of sterilising the impact of these purchases on domestic liquidity contributed to the bank reporting an after-tax loss of R490.5 million‚ compared with a loss of R1.2 billion in the previous financial year‚” bank Governor Gill Marcus said.

The Reserve Bank reported that a significant actuarial loss incurred in meeting the post-employment medical benefit liabilities of staff also contributed to the overall losses in the 2011/12 financial year. - I-Net Bridge