How to invest in South Africa using ETFs

How do I invest in South African stocks?

The easiest way to invest in the whole South African stock market is to invest in a broad market index. This can be done at low cost by using ETFs.

On the South African stock market you find 2 indices, which are tracked by ETFs.

Alternatively, you may invest in indices on Africa. The MSCI Emerging and Frontier Markets (EFM) Africa Top 50 Capped Index contains the largest weight of South Africa with around 54%.

0.45% p.a. - 0.65% p.a.
annual total expense ratio (TER) of South Africa ETFs
on the South African stock market, which are tracked by ETFs
on the South African stock market
The best indices for South Africa ETFs

Performance of South African stocks (FTSE/JSE Top 40)

1 month: -4.51%
1 year: -17.17%
3 years: 12.63%
5 years: -0.32%

Indices in comparison

The best indices for ETFs on South Africa

For an investment in the South African stock market, 2 indices tracked by 3 ETFs are available. On the FTSE/JSE Top 40 index there is 1 ETF. On the MSCI South Africa index there are 2 ETFs. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on these indices is between 0.45% p.a. and 0.65% p.a..

Index Investment focus Number of ETFs Number of constituents Short description


South Africa 1 ETF 40
The FTSE/JSE Top 40 (total return) index tracks the 40 largest South African companies, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
Index factsheet

MSCI South Africa

South Africa 2 ETFs 52
The MSCI South Africa index tracks South African stocks.
Index factsheet
  Fund size
in m CHF
in %
Use of profits Fund domicile Replication method
iShares MSCI South Africa UCITS ETFIE00B52XQP83 122 0.65% p.a. Accumulating Ireland Full replication
Lyxor South Africa (FTSE JSE Top 40) UCITS ETF C-EURFR0010464446 24 0.45% p.a. Accumulating France Unfunded swap
HSBC MSCI South Africa UCITS ETF USDIE00B57S5Q22 3 0.60% p.a. Distributing Ireland Full replication
Index   1 month
in %
3 months
in %
6 months
in %
1 year
in %
3 years
in %
MSCI South Africa 10.72% -2.18% -13.75% -17.03% 3.98%
FTSE/JSE Top 40 5.75% -6.80% -16.36% -14.59% 1.14%
Index   2018
in %
in %
in %
in %
in %
MSCI South Africa -22.79% 29.82% 20.11% -25.47% 16.49%
FTSE/JSE Top 40 -20.86% 28.16% 12.26% -20.59% 8.64%

Source:; As of 30/11/18; Calculations in CHF based on the largest ETF of the respective index.


The cheapest South Africa ETFs
by total expense ratio (TER)

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Alternative investment opportunities

Alternative indices with a large share of South Africa

Besides South Africa ETFs you may consider ETFs on the African stock market or emerging markets. In total, you can invest in 0 Africa indices, which are tracked by 0 ETFs. The total expense ratio (TER) of ETFs on Africa or emerging markets is at -.

  • For the selected origin country, there are no ETFs with this investment focus available.
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