The rand has been losing ground to the dollar over the past week, but the exchange rate would have been worse had Cyril Ramaphosa not won the ANC presidency in a tightly-fought race with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma last year, according to Investec's chief economist Annabel Bishop.
On Monday at 16:21, the rand was trading at R13.08 to the greenback, up 0.17% on the day.
Ramaphosa’s victory for the post of president of the ANC in mid-December paved the way for him become South African president. The local currency strengthened immediately after Ramaphosa beat out Dlamimi-Zuma, reaching a low of R11.51/$ in late February.
It slowly started to lose steam in mid-March.
Last week, amid broad emerging market weakness and global risk-off, the local currency lost over 4% to the greenback, reaching a low of R13.29/$ on Friday.
But if Ramaphosa hadn't won at Nasrec, the rand could be changing hands at around R17/$, said Bishop."[The] key point for the domestic currency is that it would likely be much weaker currently, indeed closer to R17.00/USD, R19.00/EUR and R22.00/GBP, without the Ramaphosa Presidency effect," Bishop said.
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