For the JSE, last year was a tale of contrasts, as SA’s largest stock market grew and shrank at the same time. First, the good news: the all share index (Alsi) soared 24%, with the top 40 skittering up at about the same rate. It was welcome relief after Covid laid sentiment low in 2020, and caused further jitters with its variants.

That the JSE rose was all the more remarkable considering that the share price(s) of the exchange’s largest constituent, Naspers and Prosus, fell markedly...

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