Tue, Sep 04, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Kganyago fights to protect S Africa central bank assets

Bloomberg

The maximum price over the past six months for a Reserve Bank share, which is available over the counter since the bank delisted in 2002, has been 10 rand. Investors share a maximum dividend payout of 200,000 rand a year.

The stock is a “horrible investment,” said shareholder Dawie Roodt, the chief economist at financial services company Efficient Group Ltd.

He bought his shares more than two decades ago because they allow him access to the central bank’s annual meetings, where he can speak to its managers, Roodt said.

Previous governors had an acrimonious relationship with some shareholders. Tito Mboweni accused one of disrespect in 2009 when the barefoot investor dressed in lederhosen, a traditional Bavarian garment, disrupted the annual general meeting.

During Kganyago’s four years at the helm, those gatherings have become duller affairs that last less than an hour.

If the government does become the sole owner of the bank, the meetings could be over in minutes, he said.

The central bank would prefer to leave things as they are. Should nationalization take place, Kganyago will up give up the nation’s assets or allow tinkering with the mandate.

“If there’s a dispute over these things, you can rest assured that we will have protracted fights in the courts,” he said. “Arbitration can rule either way, but the legal costs associated with that are going to be massive, there’s no doubt about that.”

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