December 17, 2017 / 6:48 PM / a year ago

S.Africa's rand firms more than 2 pct on ANC leadership contest

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 17 (Reuters) - South Africa’s rand firmed more than 2.3 percent to 12.7800 on Sunday as Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma were formally nominated to contest the leadership of the ruling African National Congress.

“The rand is stronger on the likelihood of Cyril Ramaphosa being elected ANC head,” said Brett Birkenstock, a director at Overberg Asset Management. “The markets favour Ramaphosa and expect him to improve the economy.”

Ramaphosa drew the majority of nominations from party branches scattered across the country. Some analysts cautioned that nominations do not equate to votes by the delegates who are expected to start casting their ballots.

Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; Editing by James Macharia

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