Top 5 on Fin24: Gupta raids boost Ramaphosa prominence, rand stable after Zuma interview

Cape Town - A roundup of Wednesday's top economic and finance reads on Fin24.

Gupta raids boost Ramaphosa's reputation as a crimefighter - Silke

cyril ramaphosa

Raids on Wednesday morning that resulted in the arrests of three people allegedly connected to the Gupta family, will serve to burnish Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s reputation as a corruption buster, according to political analyst Daniel Silke. 

“The raids will add impetus to the messages conveyed by Cyril Ramaphosa at Davos and in his interaction with foreign and domestic investors that he is serious about rooting out the rot and forging a new path,” he said. 

They constitute “important signals that South Africa is looking at positive change in governance and is therefore again a credible country in which business can operate”.

Rand stabilises after Zuma pleads innocence

The rand was taking some strain late afternoon on Wednesday after the US January consumer price index came in at 0.5% from December. The consensus was for an increase to 0.3%.

Year-over-year CPI climbed to 2.1%, compared to the consensus forecast of 1.9%.

"The USDZAR is under a bit of pressure as the hike in interest rates in March for the US is now almost fully priced in," said TreasuryOne in a snap note.

By 15:44, the local unit was trading back at R11.88/$ from an intraday low of R11.79 following the ANC's call for a vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma. Zuma has since responded, saying the ANC's push for him to resign is "unfair". The unit was still 0.64% stronger than its overnight close in New York.

Zuma has next move in ANC power battle as Gupta home raided

The noose tightened on President Jacob Zuma as the police went after key allies, while leaders of the ruling African National Congress vowed to force him from office.

Police raided the Johannesburg home of the Gupta family, who are in business with Zuma’s son, Duduzane, early on Wednesday as the nation awaited the President’s next move in his struggle for power with Cyril Ramaphosa.

Time is against Zuma as Ramaphosa has relentlessly grabbed political space since he won the presidency of the party by a razor-thin majority in December. The ANC expects Zuma to respond to its decision to replace him on Wednesday, its spokesperson Pule Mabe told Johannesburg-based state broadcaster SAfm. The presidency said no media event was scheduled.

With Ramaphosa anointed president, what will happen to Gigaba?

Incoming Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. (Gallo Im

With Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa set to become SA’s 5th president of the democratic era, he will be in a position to appoint the first Cabinet not overseen by Jacob Zuma in almost a decade. 

This means that Ramaphosa will be able to chose the first finance minister not appointed under Zuma's watch since 2009. Malusi Gigaba, the current minister, was brought in after Pravin Gordhan was axed in a midnight Cabinet reshuffle on March 31 2017. 

But if he were to be reshuffled himself, or moved laterally to another Cabinet position, who would replace him?

Tesla’s China dream threatened by standoff over Shanghai factory

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla. The traditional car indus

Tesla is in danger of being relegated to an expensive niche in China because Elon Musk can't clinch a deal to open a factory there.

More than seven months after Tesla said it was working with Shanghai's government to explore assembling cars, an agreement hasn't been finalised because the two sides disagree on the ownership structure for a proposed factory, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

China's central government says the plant must be a joint venture with local partners, while Tesla wants to own the factory completely

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