The JSE recorded its best first-quarter performance since 2007 in the three months to end-March 2019. Boosted by a 15.2% gain by Naspers, the all-share index rose 7.1% in the first quarter, erasing most of the losses incurred through 2018. Naspers, which accounts for about a fifth of the index, was at a seven-month high at end-March. The stock has risen due to a recovery by its main asset, Hong Kong-listed Tencent. But the JSE underperformed other emerging market stocks in the first quarter, with the MSCI emerging markets index adding 9.6% over the three-month period. SA’s main exchange was held back by sharp declines in a number of shares. EOH, for instance, lost about two-thirds of its value in the first quarter, partly due to the loss of its Microsoft partnership and concerns about its historic dealings with the state. Tongaat Hulett, which warned that it may need to restate previous results, fell 61%, while Aspen Pharmacare fell by nearly a third on debt concerns. hedleyn@busine...

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