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Frontiers of Finance and Economics with ISSN no. 1814-2044 is a Multi-Disciplinary Journal of Economics, Finance and Business and Management. Frontiers of Finance and Economics, a bi-Annual UGC Approved Journal. Send papers for publication to editor@ffejournal.org
Frontiers of Finance and Economics (FFE)  is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal published monthly by EduINDEX Journals. FFE dedicated to increasing the depth of research across all areas of this subject. Papers from field of Business, Finance and Economical Research are most welcome here for submission of manuscripts that meet the general criteria of significance. FFE is a leading journal in the field of Business, Finance and Economical studies.
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The Effect of Price Limits on Unconditional Volatility:The Case of CASE

Medhat Hassanein  Eskandar A. Tooma
This nonparametric policy-shift event study examines the relationship between symmetric price limit mechanisms and stock market volatility. We investigate price dynamics on the Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchange (CASE), where three different limit regimes were in place between 1994 and 2004. We find when price limits are made tighter (looser) by regulators stock market volatility is usually not lower (higher).    These results contradict the widely held view among regulators that restrictive price limits can moderate volatility.  We attribute the source of higher volatility that the CASE experienced, during the tightest limit regime, to volatility on subsequent trading days increasing as limits prevent large one-day price changes. Previous research has referred to this phenomenon as the “volatility spillover” of daily price limits.
Keywords: Price Limits, Circuit Breakers, Stock Market Volatility, Egyptian Stock Exchange.
JEL Classifications: G14, G15, G18

The Information Content of Cross-sectional Volatility for Future Market Volatility: Evidence from Australian Equity Returns

Md. Arifur Rahman
This paper presents research into the information content of firm-level and industry-level cross-sectional volatility (CSV) of daily equity returns for future market-level volatility in Australia. Using a conditional volatility framework that allows for commonly observed excess kurtosis in asset returns, we find that CSV does contain information beyond what is already contained in the lagged market-level return shocks and has a significant positive relationship with the conditional market volatility. Our analysis gives new empirical evidence that the effect of CSV is stronger in relatively stable market conditions than in more volatile market conditions. We also examine how the information content of stock turnover and aggregate company announcements compares with that of CSV, and take a novel data-driven approach to verify whether CSV captures any information about multiple common factor shocks in asset returns. The explanatory power of CSV for future market volatility remains robust even after controlling for the effects of stock turnover, company announcements and omitted factor shocks in returns.
Keywords: Incremental information, Conditional market volatility, Cross-sectional volatility, Stock turnover, Multiple common factor shocks
JEL Classification: G12, G14

Multicriteria Framework for the Prediction of Corporate Failure in the UK

Constantin Zopounidis Michael Doumpos,Fotios Pasiouras
This study investigates the efficiency of two multicriteria decision aid methods, namely UTADIS and MHDIS in the development of business failure prediction models in the UK, as opposed to models developed with discriminant analysis and logistic regression. The dataset consists of 200 manufacturing UK firms out of which 100 failed during the period 2001-2003. The models are developed and validated using 10-fold cross validation. The results show that UTADIS and MHDIS achieve satisfactory classification accuracies, while both outperform logistic regression and discriminant analysis. Thus, the developed MCDA models could be of particular interest to creditors, investors, auditors and regulators in the UK
Keywords: Bankruptcy, Failure, Multicriteria decision aid, Prediction, UK. 
JEL codes: G33, C63

Call and Put Implied Volatilities and the Derivation of Option Implied Trees

  1. Moriggia S. Muzzioli C. Torricelli
Resting on the stylized fact that call and put prices imply different volatilities, the present paper proposes a methodology for the derivation of  an arbitrage free implied tree that takes into account the information in both option classes. Specifically, we derive an implied tree that is characterised by interval values for the stock prices and we endogenously imply the corresponding artificial probabilities based on the risk neutral valuation argument. The implied tree obtained is then calibrated to market option prices by means of a non-linear optimisation routine. The methodology proposed is tested both in and out of sample using DAX index options data. Numerical results are benchmarked to the Derman and Kani’s approach. The comparison suggests that the methodology proposed in this paper, by taking into account the informational content of both call and put prices, highly improves both the in sample fitting and the out of sample performance.
Keywords: Implied Binomial Tree, Smile Effect, Interval Tree.
JEL classification: G13, G14.

Marginal Conditional Stochastic Dominance between Value and Growth

  1. Victor Chow, Bih-Shuang Huang, Ou Hu
Marginal Conditional Stochastic Dominance (MCSD) is an extension of the second order stochastic dominance that considers the joint nature of return distributions. It is a useful tool for examining marginal dominance of one asset to another conditionally to a given market return distribution for all risk-averse investors.  MCSD is superior to conventional market models in that it requires no modeling specification and is distributional free.  Although the size and value effect of equity portfolio performance has been well documented, most of analysis relies on statistical regression description and/or linear factor models.  This manuscript applies MCSD to re-exanimate the size/value effects for international equity markets.  The empirical MCSD test reveals that U.S. value stocks outperformed the market and dominated growth stocks for the post 1975 period.  However, the phenomenon of value over growth is generally insignificant in markets around the world, and it varies with different valuation criteria.
Keywords:  Value, Size, Stochastic Dominance, and Portfolio Selection.
JEL Classification:  G11, G14

Hedging of Exchange Rate Risk: A Note

Udo Broll, Stefan Schubert
Using a risk management framework, a model is presented in which currency futures markets for a less common currency, in which exports are invoiced, does not exist. However, the exporting firm can cross-hedge by using future contracts of other countries’ currencies correlated to the spot exchange rate in question. The main purpose of the study is to show the effectiveness of an optimal cross-hedge strategy of an international firm.
Keywords: exchange rate risk, currency futures markets, cross-hedge.
JEL Classification : F21, F31

Portfolio Theory and Portfolio Management:A Synthetic View

Dipasri Ghosh, Dilip K. Ghosh 
This work revisits the analysis of portfolio theory, originally brought out by Harry Markowitz and A. D. Roy, and then it takes the analytical structures beyond the Markowitz and Roy paradigms of mean-variance efficiency frontier. Selection- and revision-theoretic analysis against the backdrop of utility maximization is then presented, and comparative static exercises are performed to examine the effects of expected changes in asset prices on the optimal configuration of resultant portfolio structure. In this examination, effects of price changes are decomposed into Hicksian income effects and substitution effects. The final section shows that theoretical constructs and practitioners’ works are not really divorced from each other. In fact, it is pointed out that the practical management of portfolios is deeply rooted in the theoretical work.
Keywords: mean-variance efficiency frontier, risk aversion,  safety-first, capital market line, security market line.
JEL Classification: G11

Are Stock Markets Integrated? Evidence from a Partially Segmented ICAPM with Asymmetric Effects

Mohamed El Hedi Arouri
In this paper, I test a partially segmented ICAPM for two developed markets, two emerging markets and world market, using an asymmetric extension of the multivariate GARCH process of De Santis and Gerard (1997,1998). I find that this asymmetric process provides a significantly better fit of the data than a standard symmetric process. The evidence obtained from the whole period and sub-periods analysis supports the financial integration hypothesis and suggests that domestic risk is not a priced factor.
Keywords: International Asset Pricing, Financial Integration, Emerging Markets, Multivariate GARCH.
JEL Classification : F36; C32; G15

Has the stock market integration between the Asian and OECD countries improved after the Asian crisis?

Girijasankar Mallik
In recent years the world economy has become closely integrated due to increasing trade and financial capital flows across countries. In this study we investigate the cointegrating relationships between the stock price indices of 7 emerging Asian economies (Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Philippines) with each of 4 OECD countries (Australia, Japan, USA and UK). We have used monthly stock price indices from September 1990 to June 2004 – subdivided into two groups (before and after the Asian crisis) – to determine the effect of the crisis. Using the Johansen ML approach, we have found that the seven Asian markets are integrated with the Australian, Japanese, US and UK markets separately. We have also found that the integration has increased after the Asian crisis.
Keywords: Asian crisis, cointegration, unit root.
JEL Classification: G15, C22, C51, C52

The long-run performance of UK rights issuers

Abdullah Iqbal, Susanne Espenlaub, Norman Strong
The long-run performance of 424 UK rights issues during 1991–95 shows that issuers outperform the market and non-issuing peers in the pre-issue period and underperform in the post-issue period.  To explain these results, we examine the timing and earnings management hypotheses and show that our results support the latter.  Specifically, we find that issuing firms use discretionary current accruals to manipulate earnings, with operating performance improving significantly before the issue but deteriorating thereafter and that discretionary current accruals in the pre-issue year predict the return underperformance in the two years post-issue.  That we find these results for rights issues where new equity is offered pro rata to existing shareholders suggests the incentives of managers or informed shareholders drive earnings management.
Keywords: earnings management, rights issues, SEOs, return performance, operating performance
JEL classification: G14; G15; G24; G32; M41

Stock Market Reaction to Unexpected Changes in Interest Rates

Gitit G. Gershgoren, Shmuel Hauser
Most studies on monetary policy of central banks in many countries have focused primarily on price stability in the long-run. In this study, we investigate the short-term (within days) effect of that policy on the stock market. We employ the Vector Error Correction Models to estimate the relationship between interest rates, share prices and other macroeconomic variables to estimate the expected and unexpected interest rates announced by the Central Bank, and the GARCH model to characterize stock prices volatility. Based on these estimates, we use an event study methodology to investigate the immediate effects of unexpected announcement of interest rates by the Central Bank on share prices and their volatility. Using a unique data set obtained from the Bank of Israel we find that despite of its success in achieving the goal of price stability in the long-run, the impact on the stock market in the short-run was unwarranted, as it often generated superfluous share prices fluctuations.
Keywords: stock market, interest rates
JEL classification: E44, G14

Zelig and the Art of Measuring Excess Profit

Carlo Alberto Magni
This paper tells the story of a student of economics and finance who meets a couple of alleged psychopaths, suffering from the ‘syndrome of Zelig’, so that they think of themselves to be experts of economic and financial issues. While speaking, they come across the concept of excess profit. The student tells them that the formal way to translate excess profit is to apply Stewart’s (1991) EVA model and shows that this model is equivalent to Peccati’s (1987, 1991, 1992) decomposition model of a project’s Net Present (Final) Value. The ‘Zeligs’ listen to him carefully, then try to apply themselves the EVA model: Unfortunately, both She-Zelig and He-Zelig seem to feel uneasy with basic mathematics, so they make some mistakes. Consequently, each of them miscalculates the excess profit. Strangely enough, they make different mistakes but both get to the (correct) Net Final Value of the project and, in addition, their excess profits do coincide. Further, the (biased) models presented by the Zeligs, though different from the EVA model, seem to bear strong relations to the latter. The student is rather surprised.I give my version of this event, arguing that the Zeligs are offering us a rational way of measuring excess profit, alternative to EVA but equally valuable. As I see it, they are only adopting a different cognitive interpretation of the concept of excess profit, which is based on a counterfactual conditional that differs from Stewart’s and Peccati’s.
Keywords: Excess profit, Economic Value Added, Net Final Value, Systemic Value Added, Counterfactual, JEL Classification: G00, G30, G31.

Crisis Anticipation at a Micro-Level: Mexico 1995-1996

Karen Watkins
The following study is concerned with the anticipation of the 1995-1996 Mexican crisis.  It uses data from the balance sheets of 73 private, non-financial companies.  The results indicate that firms were not able to foresee the coming crisis. This conclusion is robust to using one year, three, two, and one quarters lags as the anticipation period. In addition, there is no significant difference in the outcome when considering the industry and size of firms.
Keywords: crisis anticipation, firm-level data, event study, JEL Classification: G3, G14

Interdependence of Asean Business Cycles

Hway-Boon Ong, Chin-Hong Puah, Muzafar Shah Habibullah
This paper examines the interdependent relationship of five ASEAN business cycles, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. We conducted an augmented VAR of Granger non-causality test and discovered that there is strong interdependence among the ASEAN countries under study.  Our empirical findings revealed the existence of bi-directional causality among ASEAN countries, especially Malaysia and Singapore. That is to say, economic shocks or policy implementation by any neighbouring countries may be easily transmitted to another.
Keywords: Granger non-causality, augmented-VAR, MWald test, business cycles, ASEAN.

International Portfolio Formation, Skewness & the Role of Gold

Brian M Lucey, Valerio Poti, Edel Tully
This paper examines the optimal allocation of assets in well diversified equity based portfolio where the investor is concerned not only with mean and variance but also with the skewness of the returns. Beginning with an analysis of the rationale for concerning with skewness, the paper then discusses previous attempts to model multi-objective portfolio problems. The second part of the paper outlines the attractive nature of the gold asset in equity portfolios. The paper then integrates the two elements, showing the changes in portfolio composition that arise when not only skewness but gold are concerned.
Keywords: Portfolio Allocation, Skewness, Gold, JEL Classification: C61, G11

Exchange Rate Determination from Monetary Fundamentals: an Aggregation Theoretic Approach

William A. Barnet, Chang Ho Kwag
We incorporate aggregation and index number theory into monetary models of exchange rate determination in a manner that is internally consistent with money market equilibrium. Divisia monetary aggregates and user-cost concepts are used for money supply and opportunity-cost variables in the monetary models. We estimate a flexible price monetary model, a sticky price monetary model, and the Hooper and Morton (1982) model for the US dollar/UK pound exchange rate. We compare forecast results using mean square error, direction of change, and Diebold-Mariano statistics.  We find that models with Divisia indexes are better than the random walk assumption in explaining the exchange rate fluctuations.  Our results are consistent with the relevant theory and the “Barnett critique.”
Keywords: Exchange rate, forecasts, vector error correction, aggregation theory, index number theory, Divisia index number, JEL Classification: C43, F31, F37

Option Pricing with Long-Short Spreads

Pengguo Wang
This paper addresses no-arbitrage pricing of options in a market with long-short spreads. First, it characterizes the term structure of no-arbitrage valuation in a frictional capital market. It shows that no arbitrage opportunities imply, and are implied by, the existence of an equivalent probability measure, under which the discounted long prices of traded securities are supermartingales, and the discounted short prices are submartingales. Second, the classic option-pricing model is generalized to a more realistic and imperfect capital market. It is shown that, in the absence of arbitrage opportunities, the equilibrium price of a call or put option must lie within an arbitrage-band. Two general partial differential equations (PDEs), which long and short prices of a contingent claim must satisfy, are identified. Third, it shows that the long-short spreads in option-pricing have important implications for portfolio hedging.
Keywords: option pricing, no-arbitrage, long-short spreads, martingale measure, hedging

What Lies Beneath? Who Owns British Defence Contractors And Does It Matter?

Derek Braddon, Jonathan Bradley
This paper presents the findings of research into the distribution of the rewards from capital used in defence production. Much existing research has examined the supply chain in the production of defence goods, but there have been few attempts to look at the ownership of suppliers. First, the paper examines two theoretical issues: why the identity of shareholders in defence contractors should have any economic or political significance, and whether the use of capital in defence industries should in principle be expected to be the same as that in any other industry. It then investigates the identity and ownership of the contractors concerned in 2003-4, using several case studies.  It finds that many of the largest suppliers to the UK government are foreign-owned or controlled, and it finds evidence of a surprising degree of American equity participation in major British contractors.
Keywords :Defence, corporate ownership, supply base; industry structure and conduct, JEL classification : D2, D4, L1, L2, L64.

Revolution in the Defense Electronics Markets?An Economic Analysis of Sect oral Change

Paul Dowdall, Derek Braddon
Within the defence sector there have been marked changes in the nature of the composite industries. This is particularly true of the electronics industry which continues to grow in importance, with electronic components built into nearly every weapons system and piece of equipment. Given the “Revolution in Military Affairs” (RMA) it seems certain that this growth will continue, impacting on both product and process. The result, however, may not be the contestable open market many expect (and hope for) as Network Enabled Warfare may result in new entrants, such as IT specialist and increased competition.  Alternatively the nature of the market may continue to benefit the incumbents. This paper presents an analysis of the changes taking place in the industry using firm-level, primary, survey-based, qualitative data on corporate conduct. The results suggest that in practice the incumbents do seem to be in a strong position. The new demands of the customer require much more than mere technical capability. Specialists who do not have established industry relationships, who do not understand industry “protocols” and who cannot communicate effectively with the customer are unlikely to survive. This suggests that rather than new entrants, there may in fact be exits from the industry and further consolidation.
Keywords: Defence, Electronics, Industry structure, Conduct, Contestability, JEL Classification: D2, D4, L1, L2, L63, O3

Military Spending and Economic Growth in Greece, Portugal and Spain

Paul Dunne,  Eftychia Nikolaidou
Analysing the relationship between military spending and growth has been an important area of empirical research. Early studies focussed on large cross sections of countries, but criticisms of these led to a focus on case studies of individual countries and studies of groups of relatively homogeneous countries. Granger causality methods have also become common techniques for such analyses, both as single equation analyses and more recently, within a cointegrating VAR framework. This paper does two things. First it provides an empirical analysis the relation between military spending and growth of three of the EU’s poorest, peripheral economies, namely Greece, Portugal and Spain. Second, it considers the range of available techniques and compares their results. It finds that the results differ across the methods used, indicating the problems with earlier studies, and across the countries, indicating the problems of drawing inferences across even relatively homogeneous economies.
Keywords : Military expenditure;  growth; causality, JEL classification O40; H56

Manufacturing Labour Demand, Technological Progress and Military Expenditure

J Paul Dunne, Duncan Watson
During the Cold a major justification of high levels of military spending was the spin off of innovations to the civil sector, such as computers, which could then be exploited profitably and to the benefit of the economy and society. There is evidence that this has changed in more recent times, with the speed of consumer industry led technological change leading to ‘spin in’ to advanced weapons systems. If this is the case it has removed a major benefit of military spending. There is, however, little systematic evidence and little recent empirical work. This paper makes a contribution to the debate, analysing the impact of military spending on technological progress, and hence labour productivity and economic growth, for a number of major weapons producers. It uses data on the manufacturing sector,   for the period 1966-2002 and estimates a CES production function in which military spending is assumed to effect growth through its impact on trend technological change.
Keywords: Military spending; spin off; employment; productivity; panel, JEL Classification:H56; O30; J20

The Evolution of European and US Aerospace and Defence Markets

Vasilis Zervos
The aim of this paper is to consider the evolution of the US and European Aerospace and Defence (A&D) markets. The present industrial structure is analysed in terms of the performance of US and European major contractors in commercial and government controlled markets (defense) within an industrial economics framework. This is then compared to possible future industrial structures, where procurement policies open up the markets to overseas firms. The comparison supports the hypothesis that efficiency can be improved and points to the need for co-ordination of procurement and industrial policies within a joint US/European military industrial complex to reduce collusion between transatlantic A&D integrators.
Keywords: Aerospace, Defense, Procurement, Industry, JEL Classification: L13, F13, H53

The Product Life Cycle and The Real Option of Waiting

Óscar Gutiérrez
Standard models of real options miscalculate the option-to-invest value of projects whose returns follow the pattern of a Product Life Cycle. This paper analyzes the option of waiting to invest when profits derived from sales in the market obey a stochastic Product Life Cycle, providing analytical solutions for the optimal entry rule and for the investment opportunity value. The model helps to explain the initial size of markets that follow a Product Life Cycle. The main difference between our model and standard models of real options is the existence of a random moment in time where the evolution of market sales changes.
Keywords: Product Life Cycle, Gamma process, Optimal entry rule, Investment lag, JEL classification: D92, G31, M31.

The Kraus and Litzenberger Quadratic Characteristic Line and Event Studies

Arun J. Prakash, Suchismita Mishra, Dipasri Ghosh
Research into the efficiency of capital market has been an ongoing process, and it has given rise to two very widely-used techniques in corporate finance. They are the event study and performance evaluation techniques. Some scholars have incorporated the preference for positive skewness in the performance evaluation technique, and using the quadratic characteristic line model à la Kraus and Litzenberger they have accounted for skewness preference. However, the preference for skewness has not been explored so far in the context of evaluation of abnormal performance of securities following an event. It appears to be of interest to examine if the abnormal returns, obtained using the quadratic characteristic line (QCL),  result in an outcome different from the one obtained using the market model in event studies. The purpose of this paper is to explore a priori the theoretical conditions under which the results of an event study will be different for using the QCL in place of the market model.
Keywords: Skewness, Event Studies, Three-moment CAPM , JEL classification: G11, G14

Additional Panel Data Evidence on the Savings-Investment Relationship and Foreign Aid in LDCs

Risa Kumazawa, James E. Payne
Using several panel data estimation procedures, this study examines the impact of savings, foreign aid, the degree of capital mobility over time, and openness to international trade upon investment rates for a sample of 74 less developed countries over the time period 1980 to 2001. The results find that the estimates of capital mobility are similar to those reported in previous studies of developing economies.  Capital mobility has increased over time while foreign aid and openness both have positive and significant impacts on investment rates.
Keywords: Capital mobility, Foreign Aid, Panel Data, JEL classification : F32, F35, O16

Attitudes with Regard to Risk : Risk Aversion, Prudence and Temperance

Octave Jokung N.
Understanding the behavior of economic agents dealing with risk is reached by the way of three concepts: Risk Aversion, Prudence and Temperance. The first one has proved to be sufficient in motivating hedging within the scope of one-risk insurance. The second concept, linked to the first one, allows to follow the evolution of this demand with respect to income. Taking these three feelings into consideration simultaneously allows to justify the more chilly attitude of economic agents within the scope of several risks, and allows to guarantee the increase in the demand for hedging in relation to the one-risk situation as well as the decrease in the demand for risky assets. We give justification for this attitude of investors, more cautious than chilly, and above all, more temperate than prudent. With the concept of prudence, the mean-variance approximation of expected utility is no longer valid.
Key-words: precautionary saving, risk aversion, utility, background risk, mean-variance paradigm

Frontiers of Financially Constrained and Unconstrained Firms: a New Development in Finance

Monica H. Maestro,  Alberto de Miguel,  Julio Pindado
This paper presents a new development in Finance that could be used to know whether a firm suffers from financial constrains. Our method consists of, first, developing a financial constraints model that objectively separates over 50% of all firms. The results of this first stage are then used to classify the remaining firms by using logit analysis. Our methodology yields classification results in agreement with the financial development of the economic areas studied (the US, Japan and the EU). Furthermore, the suggested methodology substantially improves the classification of firms, since whatever the correct classification percentage yielded by logit analysis, previous application of our Financial Constraints Model allows the researcher to obtain a good final classification.
Keywords: Firms’ investment, Financial constraints, Logit analysis,  JEL classification: G31

Parametric and Non-Parametric Measures of Volatility: Risk Estimation via the Gini Decomposition and Comparison with the Value-at-Risk

Stéphane Mussard, Virginie Terraza
In this paper we make an analogy between inequality ratios and financial risk measures. Value-at-Risk is one of the most popular risk index. It gauges the potential losses included in the tail of the distribution. Its parametric estimation yields a risk decomposition using the additive property of separability. This property permits one to transform portfolio’s VaRs into component VaRs and to define VaR metrics. However, it is based on the restrictive normality hypothesis. Then, we define a non-parametric risk measure from the Gini ratio that is assimilated to a volatility index under conditions. Using the property of decomposability, the Gini risk index can be decomposed to define new risk measures. An application on the French stock market yields comparisons between the methods.
Keywords: Component Value-at-Risk, Decomposition, Gini, Marginal Value-at-Risk, Volatility.

Real Options, Uncertainty and Firm Value

Gema Pastor Agustín, Manuel Espitia Escuer
Real options capture the value of managerial flexibility to adapt previous strategies in response to unexpected market developments. This flexibility enables managers to leverage uncertainty and limit downside risk. From this perspective, uncertainty would positively affect the valuation of a particular asset if there were real options on it. In this paper we analyse this view and we propose a model in which the possession of real options by a firm affects its market value in a twofold manner. On the one hand, the real options may constitute a valuable asset by themselves. On the other, they may alter the view that agents have about the uncertainty. To test this we carried out an empirical analysis on a sample of monthly time series of Spanish firms listed on the continuous market between 1993 and 1999 and for which there were call options on their shares. Through this analysis we conclude that real options generates value for the firm. Moreover, we also observe that the agents modify their perception of the industrial uncertainty that a firm supports if it possesses real options.
JEL Classification : C12, C23, D81, G12
Keywords : Real options, uncertainty, firm value, panel data

An Empirical Analysis of Kenyan Daily Returns Using EGARCH Models

Georges Ogum, Francisca M. Beer, Genevieve Nouyrigat
This paper offers a comprehensive view of four time properties that emerge from the empirical time series literature on asset returns. It examines: (1) the predictability of returns from past observations; (2) the auto-regressive behavior of conditional volatility; (3) the asymmetric response of conditional volatility to innovations; (4) and the conditional variance risk premium. One emerging market previously under-researched in this respect is considered: Kenya (NSE index). The paper employs exponential GARCH (EGARCH) framework for the analyses. The results indicate that asymmetric volatility found in the U.S. and other developed markets does not appear to be a universal phenomenon. In Kenya, the asymmetric volatility coefficient is significant positive, suggesting that positive shocks increase volatility more than negative shocks of an equal magnitude. NSE (Kenya) returns series report negative but insignificant risk-premium parameters. The results also show that expected returns are predictable, the auto-regressive return parameter (Ø1) is significant. Finally, the GARCH parameter (b) is statistically significant indicating that volatility persistence is present in Kenya
Keywords : Emerging market, ARCH, Conditional volatility, hedictability of returns
JEL Classification : G15, G14, C14

Parametric and Non-Parametric Analysis of Performance Persistence in Spanish Investment funds

Luis Ferruz,  José L. Sarto,  María Vargas
This paper describes a financial study of performance persistence in Spanish short-term fixed-interest funds. It is a completely new study and the database is free of survivorship bias.Performance is analysed using a novel index based on Sharpe’s original that provides consistent rankings for the whole sample.The performance persistence phenomenon is analysed using two methodologies. The first of these is a non-parametric methodology (contingency tables) in which the statistical tests of Malkiel (1995), Brown and Goetzmann (1995), and Kahn and Rudd (1995) are applied to establish the robustness of the phenomenon studied, while the second is parametric (regression analysis).We can confirm that the phenomenon of persistence is present to a significant degree in the database used in the study. Our research also shows that the availability of a greater volume of historical information does not necessarily imply any increase in the level of persistence.
Keywords : Persistence, contingency tables, regressions, investment funds.

Canadian Mutual Fund Flows and Capital Market Movements

Roger B. Atindéhou, Jean-Pierre Gueyié
The causality relationship between Canadian capital market returns and mutual fund financial flows is analyzed over the period 1991-1999, using Granger causality tests. Our results indicate that in Canada, capital market returns cause mutual fund financial flows. Conversely, mutual fund flows have an impact on bond market returns, but not on stock market returns. These results generally confirm those found in US studies (i.e., a causality from returns to mutual fund flows, and a lack of causality from flows to returns), with the exception that in Canada, mutual fund flows cause bond returns. They suggest that while there are some institutional differences between Canadian and US capital markets, they generally behave in the same way.
Keywords : Granger causality, mutual funds flows, capital markets returns, Canada, United States.

Strategic Conduct And Access Discrimination, In The Semi-Liberalized Electricity Sector In Mexico

Alejandro Ibarra-Yunez
Regulatory reform in the energy, and specifically the electricity sector, has ranged from full unbundling, liberalization, and privatization, to partial deregulation and liberalization, with little or no unbundling and non-privatization. The Mexican case originated from a need for full restructuring but recently has adjusted downwards to lukewarm deregulation in the generation segment, where the parastatal incumbent arguably will stay integrated and private generation will be promoted. A model of duopoly, with an integrated parastatal incumbent and residual private firms sheds light on potential access discrimination to residual private firms under the “Mexican model.”
JEL Classification : L12, L13, L94
Keywords: Duopoly, incumbent parastatals, electricity generation.

Credit Exposure & Sovereign Risk Analysis:The Case of South America

Elena Kalotychou, Sotiris K. Staikouras
This study makes use of a panel data framework to identify the economic signals that shape the debt repayment behaviour of the South American region. The paper employs a logit estimator with the endogenous variable based on country specific thresholds of default. A stepwise general to specific methodology is applied to identify the set of economic variables employed. The results indicate the stronger influence of domestic, rather than international, financial factors in determining default. The forecasting ability of the proposed estimator is evaluated through a cumulative three-year rolling prediction. Although the performance of the model seems satisfactory, the empirical findings indicate an upward bias signalling a possible type II error.
JEL Classification: F34, G15, G21
Keywords: Financial crises, Sovereign default, Logit modelling, Forecasting credit risk.

Random Walk As A Universal Test Of Weak-Form Foreign Exchange Market Efficiency: A Proof

Edward E. Ghartey
The paper proves that the domestic or national value of foreign exchange earnings from holding foreign assets (bonds and bank deposits accounts) follows a martingale process. It then employs the martingale process and the definition of rational expectation to prove that the pure random walk spot exchange rate is an adequate means to universally test weak-form foreign exchange market efficiency. This makes it possible for countries without forward markets to test for weak-form efficiency of their foreign exchange markets.
JEL Classification : F3 and C1.
Keywords: Martingale, rational expectation, random walk, and weak-form foreign exchange market efficiency.

The Effects of Decision Flexibility In the Hierarchical Investment Decision Process

Winfried Hallerbach, Haikun Ning, Jaap Spronk
Large institutional investors allocate their funds over a number of classes (e.g. equity, fixed income, real estate and cash), various geographical regions and different industries.
In practice, these allocation decisions are usually made in a hierarchical (top-down), consecutive way. At the higher decision level, the allocation is made on the basis of benchmark portfolios (indexes). Such indexes are then set as targets for the lower levels. For example, at the top level the allocation decision is made on the basis of asset class benchmark indexes, on the second level the decisions are made on the basis of sector benchmark indexes, etc. Obviously, the lower levels have considerable flexibility to deviate from these targets. That is the reason why targets often come with limits on the maximally allowed deviation (or ‘tracking error’) from these targets. The potential consequences of deviations from the benchmark portfolios have received very little attention in the literature.
In this paper, we discuss and illustrate this influence. The lower level tracking errors with respect to the benchmark indexes propagate to the top level. As a result the risk-return characteristics of the actual aggregate portfolio will be different from those of the initial benchmark-based portfolio. We illustrate this effect for a two level process to allocate funds over individual US stocks and sectors. We show that the benchmark allocation approaches used in practice yield inferior solutions when compared to a non-hierarchical approach where full information about individual lower level investment opportunities is available. Our results reveal that even small deviations from the benchmark portfolios can cause large shifts in the top-level risk-return space. This implies that the incorporation of lower level information in the initial top-level decision process will lead to a different (possibly better) allocation.
JEL Classification : C61, G2, G11
Keywords : multi-level decision process, decisison flexibility , tracking error analysis, portfolio management

Corporate Governance, Market Valuation and Dividend Policy in Brazil

André Carvalhal-da-Silva, Ricardo Leal
This study investigates the effects of the corporate governance structure on market valuation and dividend payout of Brazilian companies. The empirical results indicate a high degree of ownership and control concentration. We can also note a significant difference between the voting and total capital owned by the largest shareholders, mainly through the existence of non-voting shares, pyramidal structures, and shareholding agreements. These mechanisms seem to be used by controlling shareholders to keep the firm’s control without having to own 50% of the total capital. The evidence also reveals that there is a relationship between governance structure, market valuation, and dividend policy in Brazil.
JEL Classification: G30, G32
Keywords: Ownership structure; corporate control; agency costs; Brazil

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