The performance of a country’s stock exchange typically reflects the health of the underlying economy. The state of the JSE all share index (or the JSE top 40, the more liquid proxy), in contrast, is somewhat of a quixotic beast. For example, in early 2023 in the midst of the economy’s inexorable decline amid load-shedding, its potholes and broken rail system included, the Alsi broke records as it pushed up to nearly 80,000.

The first issue requiring some explanation is, of course, that the JSE index is dominated by several huge market-cap counters, almost all of which have little whatsoever to do with the South African economy...

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