The rand was firmer on Tuesday, as Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene was scheduled to travel to Indonesia to represent SA at the IMF. File Image: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - The rand was firmer early on Tuesday, as Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene was scheduled to travel to Indonesia to represent South Africa at a meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

The rand was 0.18 percent stronger at 14.84 per dollar at 07:10 GMT, having closed in New York at R14.86.

South Africa’s finance minister is traveling to Indonesia for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting, the Treasury said on Tuesday, a statement that may soothe markets a day after a media report that he had asked the president to sack him.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government bond due in 2026 fell 1.5 basis points to 9.285 percent.

Ramaphosa has no comment

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday, that he declined to take reporters questions on Nene.

Asked repeatedly whether Nene still enjoyed his confidence and what the future might hold for the embattled finance minister, Ramaphosa made light of the questions and pretended there was something wrong with his hearing.

“I am hard of hearing. I actually have go to an ear (specialist) ... see you later,” he said.

The Guptas, who face numerous allegations of using their friendship with former leader Jacob Zuma for mutual self-enrichment, have consistently denied any wrongdoing. Zuma has also denied any wrongdoing.

REUTERS