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The best and worst of the JSE in 2017

A year of extremes.

At the halfway point of last year, it seemed that 2017 was going to be another weak year on the JSE. On June 16 the FTSE/JSE All Share Index closed at 50 831, which was only a little ahead of where it opened in January.

At that point, the market was also effectively flat over the past 36 months. It was at the same levels it had been in June 2014, and there was little to suggest that it was set for a significant move.

Yet that is exactly what happened in the second half of 2017. In November the FTSE/JSE All Share Index marked a new record close of over 61 000, and eventually showed a 21% gain over the course of 2017.

A big part of these gains was of course Naspers. The bourse’s largest counter was up 71.8% for the year, and this had a major impact on the market as a whole.

However, Naspers wasn’t the only positive story on the JSE in 2017. As the table below shows, there were a number of big gainers over the course of the year in the large- and mid-cap space:

Top-performing JSE-listed large- and mid-cap stocks in 2017

Counter

12-month performance

Kumba Iron Ore

148.5%

Exxaro Resources

89.5%

Naspers

71.8%

Greenbay Properties

64.9%

Dis-Chem Pharmacies

64.1%

Discovery

64.1%

Capitec

59.9%

Clicks

59.3%

Mr Price

58.0%

Assore

57.9%

Source: FactSet, SBG Securities

It’s notable that two commodity companies top the list. Coal and iron miners in particular had a good year. This is also reflected in the top-performing market sectors:

Top-performing JSE sectors in 2017

Sector

12-month total return

Coal

92.9%

Industrial metals

89.6%

Media

71.6%

Industrial transportation

34.5%

Banks

30.7%

Life insurance

27.9%

Food & drug retailers

27.8%

General mining

25.7%

Personal goods

24.8%

Real estate development & services

24.7%

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Source: FactSet, SBG Securities

It’s notable that banking ended the year as one of the top five sectors, as the bank index was depressed for most of 2017. It only spiked at the end of December, following Cyril Ramaphosa’s election to the ANC presidency.

Read: Ramaphosa gives banks flying start

At the other end of the market, it’s not surprising that the worst-performing company was Steinhoff International. The furniture retailer’s share price collapsed following the resignation of CEO Markus Jooste amid allegations of financial irregularities.

Read: Steinhoff skeletons emerge

It is however notable that only 31 of the largest 105 companies on the JSE recorded a negative performance in 2017. This shows that there was certainly more good than bad.

Worst performing JSE-listed large and mid-cap stocks in 2017

Counter

12 month performance

Steinhoff International

-92.9%

EOH Holdings

-57.5%

Brait

-51.5%

Famous Brands

-34.2%

Telkom SA

-29.4%

Oceana Group

-25.4%

Harmony Gold Mining Company

-25.3%

Impala Platinum Holdings

-24.1%

Omnia Holdings

-18.2%

Netcare

-18.0%

Source: FactSet, SBG Securities

Unlike their coal and iron ore counterparts, gold miners struggled in 2017. In addition to Harmony, which appears on the above list, Sibanye and AngloGold Ashanti were also down for the year.

The hospital groups also had a poor year. All three of the big players – Netcare, Mediclinic International and Life Healthcare – were in negative territory.

The list below shows the worst-performing sectors on the local market for 2017:

Worst-performing JSE sectors in 2017

Sector

12 month total return

Household goods

-93.4%

Software & computer

-33.6%

Fixed line telecoms

-30.2%

Industrial engineering

-23.3%

Travel & leisure

-19.2%

Health care equipment

-14.6%

Electronic & electrical

-14.2%

Gold mining

-2.7%

Pharmaceutical and biotech

-2.1%

Beverages

-1.3%

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Source: FactSet, SBG Securities

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