Purpose - The purpose of this study is to explore the applicability of the Fama-French and Carhart models on the South African stock market (SASM). It examines the ability of the models to capture size, book-To-market (BM) and momentum effects on the SASM. The paper, additionally, explores the ability of the Fama-French-Carhart factors to predict the future growth of the South African economy. Design/methodology/approach - The paper relies on data of 848 firms from January 1996 to April 2012 to examine the size, BM and momentum effects on the SASM. The paper constructs the test assets from a 3 - 3 sort on size and BM and a 3 - 3 sort on size and momentum. The paper estimates momentum as the past six-months' cumulative return. The momentum portfolios are monthly rebalanced. Additionally, the size and BM portfolios are formed annually at the end of each June. Findings - Evidence is provided that size, BM and momentum effects exist on the SASM; also, the small- and high-BM firm portfolios, respectively, appear riskier than the big- and low-BM firm portfolios. The paper provides evidence of past winners outperforming past losers aside from the small-firm group. Additionally, the models only partially capture the size and value effects on the SASM. The Carhart model partly captures the momentum effects, but the Fama-French model is unable to describe the returns to the momentum-sorted portfolios. The evidence shows that the models' factors predict future gross domestic product growth. Originality/value - The models do not fully describe returns on the SASM; any application of the models on the SASM should be done with caution. The Carhart model better describes returns than the Fama-French model on the SASM. The Fama-French-Carhart factors may relate to the underlying economic risk of the South African economy.
- Future economic growth
- South African market