Old Mutual (ODMTY) shares fell more than 7% on Friday morning, bearing the brunt of political maneuvering in South Africa after President Jacob Zuma fired the finance minister, leading to a steep sell off of London-listed companies exposed to the country.
Old Mutual stock were marked 7.24%, changing hands at 201.30 pence in London at 8:23 am London time. Shares have lost 2.85% over the past three months.
The London-listed financial services company has a big exposure to the South African market. It was founded in the country in 1845.
Zuma fired finance minister Pravin Gordhan and eight other ministers as part of a late-night cabinet reshuffle Thursday in a bid to oust the president's critics. South Africa's central bank warned the move could undermine the country's fight against inflation.
Malusi Gigaba, the home affairs minister who has been Zuma's close ally, will replace Gordhan, the president said in a statement. This will be South Africa's fourth finance minister in two years
"I have decided to make changes to the National Executive in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness," Zuma said in a statement.
The move may lead to the country's debt being downgraded to junk by ratings agencies in the coming days.
Investec (ITCFY) fell 4.30% on Friday morning to change hands at 577.50 pence. Investec also has a vast exposure to the South African market. It was founded in Johannesburg in 1974.
The reshuffling sent the South African rand down more than 2% against the greenback to R13.5466 per dollar. The currency is down more than 8.9% over the past week.