Rand Leads EM Currency Gains After Ramaphosa Speech

The rand strengthened the most among emerging-market currencies on Friday as investors assessed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s pledges to overhaul South Africa’s electricity industry and curb government spending, Bloomberg News reported. While offering little that is new on the planned restructuring of Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., Ramaphosa announced sweeping measures Thursday to address power shortages and reduce dependence on the debt-stricken utility. He warned that the nation’s debt trajectory is unsustainable and said Finance Minister Tito Mboweni will announce spending cuts in the budget on Feb. 26, with the government and labor unions in talks to reduce the state wage bill. Read more