JSE. Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK
JSE. Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK

It took just 11 trading days for the JSE’s all share index to barrel through 55,000 points, and close above 58,000 for the first time ever.

Much of that exuberance is thanks to Naspers — an unstoppable force whose 59% rise this year will make all active managers look bad. Worryingly, it means Naspers’s weighting on the JSE’s top 40 index has moved above 20% — hardly the stuff of a well-diversified portfolio.

If fund managers have any chance of saving face, they’ll have needed exposure to BHP Billiton (up 12.5% this year), Anglo American (up 32%) and Richemont (up 34%). That’s pretty much the composition of the top 40’s gains this year.

Which, in many ways, is deeply disturbing: aside from Anglo’s remaining local mines and Naspers’s pay-TV operations, none of the four is a quintessential SA company anymore. In fact, "foreign" firms — like Anheuser-Busch InBev, British American Tobacco and Glencore — account for 69% of the JSE’s total market value, says Sasfin.

But there is a silver lining: if SA manages to wrest itself back from the klepto-clutches of Jacob Zuma, it has a real chance of reigniting economic growth. Which should, in theory, favour the companies whose fate is still determined by what happens on home turf. In which case, a market well above 58,000 may well be on the cards.

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