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What Explains the Sovereign Credit Default Swap Spreads Changes in the GCC Region?

Nader Naifar ()
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Nader Naifar: College of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU), P.O. Box 5701, Riyadh 11432, Saudi Arabia

Journal of Risk and Financial Management, 2020, vol. 13, issue 10, 1-22

Abstract: This paper aimed to investigate the drivers of sovereign credit risk spreads changes in the case of four Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, namely Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, and Bahrain. Specifically, we explained the changes in sovereign credit default swap (hereafter SCDS) spreads at different locations of the spread distributions by three categories of explanatory variables: global uncertainty factors, local financial variables, and global financial market variables. Using weekly data from 5 April 2013, to 17 January 2020, and the quantile regression model, empirical results indicate that the global factors outperform the local factors. The most significant variables for all SCDS spreads are the global financial uncertainty embedded in the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) volatility index (VIX) and the global conventional bond market uncertainty embedded in the Merrill Lynch Option Volatility Estimate (MOVE) index. Moreover, the MOVE index affects the various SCDS spreads only when the CDS markets are bullish. Interestingly, the SCDS spreads are not affected by the global economic policy and the gold market uncertainties. Additionally, a weak dependence is observed between oil prices and SCDS spreads. For the country-specific factors, stock market returns are the most significant variable and impact the SCDS spreads at different market circumstances.

Keywords: sovereign credit risk; credit default swap; uncertainty; asymmetric analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C E F2 F3 G (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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