nep-fmk New Economics Papers
on Financial Markets
Issue of 2007‒09‒30
four papers chosen by
Kwang Soo Cheong
Johns Hopkins University

  1. Estimating the Equity Premium By John Y. Campbell
  2. An Empirical Analysis of Asset-Backed Securitization By Vink, Dennis
  3. Pension Fund Investment in Hedge Funds By Fiona Stewart
  4. Testing Multi-Factor Asset Pricing Models in the Visegrad Countries By Magdalena Morgese Borys

  1. By: John Y. Campbell
    Abstract: To estimate the equity premium, it is helpful to use finance theory: not the old-fashioned theory that efficient markets imply a constant equity premium, but theory that restricts the time-series behavior of valuation ratios, and that links the cross-section of stock prices to the level of the equity premium. Under plausible conditions, valuation ratios such as the dividend-price ratio should not have trends or explosive behavior. This fact can be used to strengthen the evidence for predictability in stock returns. Steady-state valuation models are also useful predictors of stock returns given the high degree of persistence in valuation ratios and the difficulty of estimating free parameters in regression models for stock returns. A steady-state approach suggests that the world geometric average equity premium was almost 4% at the end of March 2007, implying a world arithmetic average equity premium somewhat above 5%. Both valuation ratios and the cross-section of stock prices imply that the equity premium fell considerably in the late 20th Century, but has risen modestly in the early years of the 21st Century.
    JEL: G12
    Date: 2007–09
  2. By: Vink, Dennis
    Abstract: In this study we provide empirical evidence demonstrating a relationship between the nature of the assets and the primary market spread. The model also provides predictions on how other pricing characteristics affect spread, since little is known about how and why spreads of asset-backed securities are influenced by loan tranche characteristics. We find that default and recovery risk characteristics represent the most important group in explaining loan spread variability. Within this group, the credit rating dummies are the most important variables to determine loan spread at issue. Nonetheless, credit rating is not a sufficient statistic for the determination of spreads. We find that the nature of the assets has a substantial impact on the spread across all samples, indicating that primary market spread with backing assets that cannot easily be replaced is significantly higher relative to issues with assets that can easily be obtained. Of the remaining characteristics, only marketability explains a significant portion of the spreads’ variability. In addition, variations of the specifications were estimated in order to asses the robustness of the conclusions concerning the determinants of loan spreads.
    Keywords: asset securitization; asset-backed securitisation; bank lending; default risk; risk management; leveraged financing.
    JEL: G21 G20
    Date: 2007–08–28
  3. By: Fiona Stewart
    Abstract: Having outlined the potential concerns relating to pension fund investment in hedge funds, the OECD carried out a survey to investigate what information pension fund regulators have on these investments and how they are being controlled. The survey confirms that pension fund regulators have little information regarding how pension funds in their jurisdiction are investing in hedge fund products (in terms of size of investments, the types of hedge funds pension funds are exposed and to what type of product). Only the Slovak Republic and Mexico (for the mandatory system) prevent pension funds from investing in hedge funds. Although the level of such investment is still very low in other countries, it is almost universally expected to increase. Few countries impose specific quantitative investment restrictions on pension fund investment in hedge funds, with most regulators exercising control via general investment restrictions and requirements (for diversification, transparency, through the prudent person rule etc.). Some regulators have provided pension funds with further guidance as how to handle these instruments. In terms of policy issues, most concern centre around financial risk control and how to improve transparency and disclosure in relation to these investments. <P>Les investissements des fonds de pension dans les hedge funds <BR>Après avoir décrit les problèmes potentiels liés aux investissement des fonds de pension dans les hedges funds, l'OCDE a lancé une enquête pour savoir de quelles informations les régulateurs des fonds de pension disposent sur ces investissements et comment ils sont contrôlés. Une étude récente de l’OCDE confirme que les instances de réglementation des fonds de pension ont peu d’informations sur les investissements des fonds de pension relevant de leur juridiction en produits de hedge funds (taille des investissements, types de hedge funds auxquels les fonds de pension sont exposés et types de produits). Il n’y a qu’en République slovaque et au Mexique (pour le système obligatoire) qu’il est interdit aux fonds de pension d’investir dans les hedge funds. Le niveau de ce type d’investissement est certes encore très limité dans les autres pays, mais on s’attend presque partout qu’il augmente. Peu de pays imposent des restrictions quantitatives spécifiques aux investissements des fonds de pension dans les hedge funds, la plupart des instances de réglementation exerçant leur pouvoir de contrôle par le biais de restrictions et d’exigences d’ordre général (diversification, transparence, règle de la personne prudente, etc.). Certaines instances de réglementation, toutefois, ont communiqué des orientations complémentaires aux fonds de pension sur la façon de traiter ces instruments. Dans l’optique gouvernementale, l’essentiel des préoccupations porte sur la maîtrise du risque financier et la façon d’améliorer la transparence et la divulgation d’informations concernant ces investissements.
    Keywords: transparency, transparence, pension fund, fond de pension, hedge funds, quantitative limits, qualitative restrictions, risk control, hedge funds, limites quantitatives, restrictions qualitatives, maîtrise du risque
    JEL: G11 G18 G23 J31
    Date: 2007–09
  4. By: Magdalena Morgese Borys
    Abstract: There is no consensus in the literature as to which model should be used to estimate the stock returns and the cost of capital in the emerging markets. The Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) that is most often used for this purpose in the developed markets has a poor empirical record and is likely not to hold in the less developed and less liquid emerging markets. Various factor models have been proposed to overcome the shortcomings of the CAPM. This paper examines both the CAPM and the macroeconomic factor models in terms of their ability to explain the average stock returns using the data from the Visegrad countries. We find, as expected, that the CAPM is not able to do this task. However, a four-factor model, including factors such as: excess market return, excess industrial production, excess inflation, and excess term structure, can in fact explain part of the variance in the Visegrad countries’ stock returns.
    Keywords: CAPM, macroeconomic factor models, asset pricing, cost of capital, Poland.
    JEL: G10 G G12 G15 G31
    Date: 2007–03

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