Britain's finance chief starts overseas tour on Brexit fears

Markets Associated Press

  • Britain's finance chief, Philip Hammond, left, speaks whilst South Africa's Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, watches during their media briefing in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Hammond is in South Africa to try to reassure global partners ahead of his country's planned departure from the European Union. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

    Britain's finance chief, Philip Hammond, left, speaks whilst South Africa's Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, watches during their media briefing in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Hammond is in South Africa to try to reassure global ... partners ahead of his country's planned departure from the European Union. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe) (The Associated Press)

  • Britain's finance chief, Philip Hammond, left, speaks whilst South Africa's Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, watches during their media briefing in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Hammond is in South Africa to try to reassure global partners ahead of his country's planned departure from the European Union. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

    Britain's finance chief, Philip Hammond, left, speaks whilst South Africa's Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, watches during their media briefing in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Hammond is in South Africa to try to reassure global ... partners ahead of his country's planned departure from the European Union. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe) (The Associated Press)

  • Britain's finance chief, Philip Hammond, leaves after a meeting with South Africa's Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016.  Hammond is in South Africa to try to reassure global partners ahead of his country's planned departure from the European Union. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

    Britain's finance chief, Philip Hammond, leaves after a meeting with South Africa's Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. Hammond is in South Africa to try to reassure global partners ahead of his ... country's planned departure from the European Union. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe) (The Associated Press)

Britain's finance chief is in South Africa to try to reassure global partners ahead of his country's planned departure from the European Union.

Continue Reading Below

Philip Hammond met with business leaders in Johannesburg on Wednesday and is due to visit Japan and South Korea next.

South Africa is Britain's biggest export market in Africa, with bilateral trade reaching nearly 8 billion pounds in 2015. Hammond's South Africa stop includes meetings at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Britain's decision to leave the EU in a referendum earlier this year sent shock waves around the world, rocking financial markets and toppling former Prime Minister David Cameron.