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  • A version of this paper originally appeared as an ERSA working paper (#49). The author is indebted to Dr C. P. Van Walbeek and anonymous referees from both ERSA and the journal for many helpful comments made on earlier drafts. Any errors or omissions however remain the authors' responsibility. Funding from ERSA for this paper is gratefully acknowledged.


This paper investigates domestic risk–return behaviour by focussing on the intertemporal relationship between the conditional domestic equity market premium, its conditional variance and its conditional covariance with the international equity market. The paper finds that the domestic equity market prices in both domestic and international diversification risk. The estimated daily price of domestic variance risk is 0.0279% (EAR: 7.28%) for every one unit of expected domestic variance. The estimated daily price of covariance risk is 0.0111% (EAR: 2.83%) for every unit of expected covariance risk. The representative domestic investor values domestic variance more than covariance risk. The variances of domestic and international equity returns are found to be time-varying, as is the covariance between the two. Evidence is found that the Johannesburg Securities Exchange is not perfectly integrated with the world economy, in an absolute sense. The volatility spillover effect is observed to be both significant and positive. The standard Capital Asset Pricing Model misspecifies the return to domestic risk, biasing the risk–return coefficient upwards. Domestic investors are rewarded for holding internationally diversified portfolios, with an internationally diversified portfolio expected to have an additional daily return of 0.0238% (EAR: 6.29%) for the same level of risk as an entirely domestic equity portfolio.