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The JSE’s Banking Index has given up 13% since late April, pushed lower by the announcement of an investigation into alleged wide-scale rigging of the foreign exchange markets.Eleven banks were named, mainly foreign owned operations but including three of SA’s Big Five – Standard Bank, Barclays Africa and Investec.and Citigroup Inc., may be bigger than any assignment the regulator has taken on to date, Bonakele said in an interview in the commission’s board room.Chatroom Collusion Traders used an online chatroom called “ZAR domination,” its name inspired by the rand’s international code, to collude at a cost to bulk buyers of the currency, Bonakele says.You are able to go out there and get the information.
Manipulation of the Rand has been whispered in South African financial markets for years with investigative journalist Barry Sergeant’s expose more than a decade back sparking the Rand Commission.
The Competition authorities recently uncovered an online chatroom “ZAR Domination” used by forex traders which and believe the abuse could lead to record fines, surpassing R1.5bn levied on the Construction industry.
The probe into collusion among builders resulted in a combined 1.5 billion rand (3 million) penalty — the authority’s largest — for 15 South African construction companies in 2013, including Murray & Roberts Holdings Ltd. Since its inception in 1998, the Commission has also extracted financial penalties from steelmaker Arcelor Mittal South Africa Ltd. Those successes have helped establish the reputation of an organization now taking on some of the world’s biggest banks in a currency rigging probe that Bonakele announced May 19.
His pursuit of alleged currency conspirators at banks dealing in the South African rand, including JPMorgan Chase & Co.
But it’s no sure thing, though, after the Competitions Commission’s reputation took a knock last week when the courts overturned the R534m fine it levied on oil-from-coal producer Sasol.
– Alec Hogg By Franz Wild and Chris Spillane (Bloomberg) — For evidence of collusion, South Africa’s antitrust boss needn’t stray far from his Pretoria office.