Nidhaleddine Ben Cheikh, Samy Ben Naceur, Mr. Oussama Kanaan, and Christophe Rault
Our paper examines the effect of oil price changes on Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) stock markets using nonlinear smooth transition regression (STR) models. Contrary to conventional wisdom, our empirical results reveal that GCC stock markets do not have similar sensitivities to oil price changes. We document the presence of stock market returns’ asymmetric reactions in some GCC countries, but not for others. In Kuwait’s case, negative oil price changes exert larger impacts on stock returns than positive oil price changes. When considering the asymmetry with respect to the magnitude of oil price variation, we find that Oman’s and Qatar’s stock markets are more sensitive to large oil price changes than to small ones. Our results highlight the importance of economic stabilization and reform policies that can potentially reduce the sensitivity of stock returns to oil price changes, especially with regard to the existence of asymmetric behavior.
We analyze the performance of the Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) and its integration with other markets. Using cointegration techniques, we find that the ASE and other Arab stock markets are cointegrated, which implies little long-run risk diversification. However, there is no cointegrating relationship between the ASE and other emerging or developed stock markets. Two of the main regional stock markets-Kuwait and Saudi Arabia-Grangercause the Jordanian stock market. The paper finds that there may have been some overvaluation at end-2005, but that the market correction in early 2006 and strong recent earnings growth have reduced overvaluation concerns.
Capital flows are closely monitored, but surprisingly little is known about the stocks of external assets and liabilities held by countries, especially in the developing world. This paper constructs estimates of foreign assets and liabilities and their equity and debt subcomponents for 66 industrial and developing countries for the period 1970-97. It explores the sensitivity of estimates of stock positions to the treatment of valuation effects not captured in balance of payments data. Finally, it characterizes the stylized facts of estimated stocks and asks whether there are trends in net foreign asset positions and differences in debt-equity ratios across countries.