File picture: Philimon Bulawayo
JOHANNESBURG - The South African rand rallied in the afternoon before the new president of the ANC was announced. 

The rand hit highs, trading at R12.64 against the US dollar. 

“Markets are definitely viewing that court ruling as positive for the rand, more especially positive for the (Deputy President Cyril) Ramaphosa campaign,” said senior forex dealer at Standard Bank, Oliver Alwar.

Prior to the announcement, Sinovuyo Mpakama, Director: Debt Issuance & Management, National Treasury of South Africa, said, ""The markets are taking a wait and will see the approach, waiting for the results of the voting to be confirmed. Both the rand and bonds moved very strongly on Friday in anticipation of a favourable outcome from the conference, with the rand dipping below R13/$, hitting R12.96/$ on optimism, earlier in the week the rand was trading at around R13.50/$, thus showing a strong 50 cents strengthening. The benchmark R186 dipped below 9% to hit 8.95% before receding slightly to trading at 9%. This is a 25 basis point strengthening from around 9.25% earlier on in the week. The market closed the week off on strong optimism and is now taking a bit of a cautious stance until the outcome of the elective conference is confirmed".

Sonja Keller, strategist at JPMorgan, Johannesburg, also told Bloomberg, “Should Ramaphosa be elected, financial markets probably would anticipate Moody’s holding off on a ratings downgrade in March next year. If the election results in a mixed slate with the top six new ANC leaders drawn from both the modernist and traditionalist camps, such expectations could be muted or indeed abs

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE