SA asset managers are piling into defensively focused JSE counters with low debt levels and strong cash generation abilities, amid a deteriorating global environment and few signs of a domestic turnaround anytime soon.

The prospects of locally focused stocks has faded along with the optimism that accompanied Cyril Ramaphosa's elevation to the presidency, putting established brands with foreign earnings and deep pockets firmly in favour, fund managers told the seventh GIB Investment Summit in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

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