PRETORIA, March 2 (Reuters) - South Africa’s central bank on Thursday said it would put up for sale nearly 150,000 of its shares owned by people who have exceeded limits set by a court to prevent undue influence in the regulator.
South African Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago told reporters the bank had identified certain people amassing shares, and that this posed a danger to the bank’s independence.
He did not identify the shareholders.
“These shareholders who decided to buy shares as families and as associates, you could see that they were trying to exert undue influence, or influence disproportionate to the statutory limit,” Kganyago said.
Shares in the bank may be acquired by means of an over-the-counter share trading facility and earn a dividend of 10 South African cents per share annually.
A 2016 court ruled that anyone holding more than 10,000 shares in the central bank must sell their extra shares, in line with a 2010 amendment to the constitutional act to bring down the statutory limit.
The amendment also limits the rights of shareholders to nominate non-executive directors, vote on remuneration or the appointment of auditors, the bank said.
Discontent around the racial profile of economic ownership and wealth in South Africa has increased in recent years as economic growth stalled, unemployment climbed to record highs and poverty levels fuelled crime and political uncertainty. (Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by James Macharia/Jeremy Gaunt)