Top reads on Fin24: Steinhoff CEO quits, SARB lawyer slams Mkhwebane and Eskom inquiry adjourns

Cape Town - ICYMI: A roundup of Wednesday's must-read financial and economic news.

Christo Wiese jumps in as Steinhoff CEO quits

Steinhoff International Holdings' CEO Marcus Jooste resigned with immediate effect after the global furniture and clothing retailer reported irregularities in its accounts that require further investigation.

The owner of the France-based Conforama furniture store chain and Pep clothing stores has appointed auditor PwC to probe the matter, it said in a statement.

South African billionaire and chairperson of the company, Christo Wiese, will run the company on a temporary basis.

Steinhoff shares were trading at R17.29 on the JSE as of 16:08

Mkhwebane misled, disrespected the court - SARB lawyer

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s conduct during the litigation process of the Bankorp-CIEX report was disrespectful to the law and the courts, the counsel of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) argued on Wednesday.

The hearing continued at the North Gauteng High Court, with the Reserve Bank’s lawyer concluding its arguments, and calling for Mkhwebane to feel punishment in her pocket.

The matter relates to a report Mkhwebane released in June where her findings called for ABSA to repay R1.125bn for a lifeboat provided to Bankorp by the Reserve Bank during the apartheid era.

Both the SARB and ABSA filed court applications to have the court review the report and set it aside. The SARB is also seeking a declaratory order that Mkhwebane abused her powers.

The #EskomInquiry adjourns for 2017

With Eskom's acting board chair Zethembe Khoza finishing his testimony, the committee has now officially adjourned for 2017.  

"You have done very good work," said the inquiry's chair, Daphne Rantho. "You showed a bold and unwavering attitude." 

Rantho said the inquiry would continue in 2018. The committee will apply to Parliament to continue its hearings in the week before Parliament kicks off.

Rantho said evidence presented before the committee thus far raises serious questions over abuses of state resources, but the inquiry will not as this stage make any findings, as it still has to hear evidence from witnesses next year.

Bitcoin surpasses $12 000 for the first time

Bitcoin surpassed $12 000 for the first time amid speculation that the widespread use of futures will help lead to digital currencies being viewed as a legitimate asset class for mainstream investors.

The largest cryptocurrency by market value has soared from less than $1 000 at the start of the year as optimism climbs for the distributed ledger technology known as blockchain that is at the heart of bitcoin.

The price surge has been accompanied by a growing chorus of warnings that the speculative frenzy is an asset bubble poised to burst.

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