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Rand rallies after former South Africa central banker named as finance minister

The South African rand rallied after President Cyril Ramaphosa accepted the resignation of embattled Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and appointed the former longtime chief of the country's central bank as his replacement.

Nene asked Ramaphosa to relieve him of his duties following public pressure over his recent admission that he met with members of the controversial Gupta family, who allegedly pocketed state funds using their close ties with former South African President Jacob Zuma.

Former South African Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni was appointed as the new finance minister, effective immediately.

"Mr. Mboweni takes on this responsibility at a critical moment for our economy, as we intensify cooperation among all social partners to increase investment, accelerate growth and create jobs on a substantial scale," Ramaphosa said.

"This moment calls for strong, capable and steady leadership that will unlock new opportunities as we grow and transform our economy," the president added.

Mboweni was appointed labor minister in 1994 and later served as governor of South Africa's central bank from 1999 to 2009.

The rand strengthened after the news, trading 1.31% higher at 14.7116 per dollar at 11:38 a.m. ET.