(Adds closing prices)
JOHANNESBURG, June 15 South African assets fell
on Thursday, with mining stocks the hardest hit after the
government revamped the sector's ownership rules.
Releasing the details of a revised mining charter, Mines
Minister Mosebenzi Zwane gave resource companies 12 months to
raise the minimum threshold for black ownership of mining
companies to 30 percent from 26 percent.
Analysts said the revised charter would further tarnish the
country's credentials as an investor-friendly emerging market,
while the changes also drew opposition from the industry lobby
The Chamber of Mines said it would challenge the new rules
in court, arguing that there had been insufficient consultation
in drawing up the charter - which is designed to widen ownership
of the South African economy.
The mining index ended down 3 percent to a level
last seen in April 2016.
"A lot of the pressure we're seeing in the resource stocks
alongside some weakness in the currency is coming on the back of
this revised mining charter and what effectively it's going to
mean for fixed investments going forward," said BNP Paribas
Cadiz Securities economist Jeffrey Schultz.
Implementing the charter would be a significant blow to an
industry that is already struggling, Schultz said.
Diversified mining company Sibanye Gold dropped 3.5
percent to 16.15 rand, AngloGold Ashanti declined 6.08
percent to 138.31 rand and Anglo American Platinum fell 7.18
percent to 281.31 rand by 1244 GMT.
The benchmark Top-40 index was down 1.3 percent and
the broader All-share index fell by the same margin.
Rising interest rates in the U.S. coupled with the release
of the mining charter saw investors selling the rand,
which weakened 1.96 percent to 12.86 against the dollar.
The Federal Reserve raised lending rates by 25 basis points,
weakening demand for emerging-market currencies that had seen
large flows as a global hunt for yield persisted.
South African bonds were also weaker, with the yield on the
benchmark 2026 government bond up 8 basis points to 8.485
(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana, Nqobile Dludla and Olwethu Boso;
Editing by Toby Chopra and Toby Davis)