Transmission of Stock Price Movements: The Case of GCC Stock Markets
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Assaf Ata: University of Windsor
Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, 2003, vol. 1, issue 2, 73-92
Using a vector autoregressive analysis, this paper investigates the dynamic interactions among stock market returns from six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates). The empirical investigation is conducted using weekly data from 15 January 1997 to 26 April 2000. During this period, significant steps were taken that intensified financial integration in the GCC region, including privatization policies, increased liberalization of the financial markets and easier entrance of foreign investors to the stock markets. Our empirical evidence suggests the following: (1) there is substantial evidence of interdependence and feedback effects among GCC stock markets; (2) Bahrain plays a dominant role in influencing the GCC markets with a significant persistent impact beyond weeks one and two; (3) Saudi Arabia shows a slow process in responding to shocks originated in other markets; and (4) markets are not completely efficient in processing regional news, providing an opportunity for portfolio diversification at the regional level.
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