ABSTRACT

The paper investigates whether there are any benefits from international equity diversification for South African long term investors using daily stock market indices for seven world stock markets for the period 1995-2008. Firstly, pairwise portfolios are tested for long-run comovement using the bivariate cointegration approach. Wider portfolios are then tested for long-run comovement using the multivariate cointegration based on the Johansen and Juselius (1992) approach. While no bivariate cointegration exists between the South Africa and each of the selected world major equity markets for the entire 1995-2008, cointegration exist with US if a dummy is included. Multivariate cointegration analysis suggests that long-run comovement exists for some of the wider portfolios with most of long-run coefficients being negative. Overall, our findings show that integration of SA to the major world markets is weak suggesting that international portfolio diversification is potentially worthwhile for South African investors.