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What Moves the Discount on Country Equity Funds?

In: The Internationalization of Equity Markets

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  • Gikas Hardouvelis
  • Rafael La Porta
  • Thierry A. Wizman

Abstract

The paper characterizes several empirical regularities of closed- end fund prices and examines the extent to which a 'sentiment' model of asset prices is consistent with the empirical regularities. We find that after controlling for the effect of cross-border investment restrictions, country funds trade at an average discount. Discounts vary substantially and contribute to a variance in country fund weekly returns which is generally three times greater than the returns on the net asset value (NAV). Regression analysis suggests that discounts have predictive power for fund returns but not for NAV returns, suggesting that investor 'sentiment' is a component of the price of a fund and not its NAV. Estimation of an unobserved components model on the discounts of the funds reveals a significant and strongly persistent common component across fund discounts. Regressions of fund and NAV returns on financial variables reveal that fund prices are 'sticky' with respect to movements in the host country's stock market and overly sensitive to variation in the U.S. and world stock markets. This relation is unaffected when we consider separately funds whose host countries restrict cross-border investment and funds which invest in emerging stock markets.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1994. "The Internationalization of Equity Markets," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fran94-1.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 6278.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:6278

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    1. Robert J. Shiller, 1984. "Stock Prices and Social Dynamics," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 719R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    2. Roenfeldt, Rodney L. & Tuttle, Donald L., 1973. "An examination of the discounts and premiums of closed-end investment companies," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 129-140.
    3. Jorion, Philippe & Schwartz, Eduardo, 1986. " Integration vs. Segmentation in the Canadian Stock Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(3), pages 603-14, July.
    4. Bodurtha, James N, Jr & Kim, Dong-Soon & Lee, Charles M C, 1995. "Closed-End Country Funds and U.S. Market Sentiment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(3), pages 879-918.
    5. Diwan, Ishac & Errunza, Vihang & Senbet, Lemma W., 1992. "The pricing of country funds and their role in capital mobilization for emerging economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1058, The World Bank.
    6. Bonser-Neal, Catherine, et al, 1990. " International Investment Restrictions and Closed-End Country Fund Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 523-47, June.
    7. Robert J. Shiller, 1984. "Stock Prices and Social Dynamics," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 15(2), pages 457-510.
    8. J. Bradford De Long & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, . "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _124, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
    9. Brauer, Greggory A, 1988. " Closed-End Fund Shares' Abnormal Returns and the Information Content of Discounts and Premiums," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 113-127, March.
    10. Chopra, Navin, et al, 1993. " Yes, Discounts on Closed-End Funds Are a Sentiment Index," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(2), pages 801-808, June.
    11. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
    12. Charles Lee & Andrei Shleifer & Richard Thaler, 1990. "Investor Sentiment and the Closed-End Fund Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 3465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Errunza, Vihang & Losq, Etienne, 1985. " International Asset Pricing under Mild Segmentation: Theory and Test," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(1), pages 105-24, March.
    14. Boudreaux, Kenneth J, 1973. "Discounts and Premiums on Closed-End Mutual Funds: A Study in Valuation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 28(2), pages 515-22, May.
    15. Zweig, Martin E, 1973. "An Investor Expectations Stock Price Predictive Model Using Closed-End Fund Premiums," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 28(1), pages 67-78, March.
    16. Thomas J. Sargent & Christopher A. Sims, 1977. "Business cycle modeling without pretending to have too much a priori economic theory," Working Papers 55, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    17. Thompson, Rex, 1978. "The information content of discounts and premiums on closed-end fund shares," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2-3), pages 151-186.
    18. Pontiff, Jeffrey, 1995. "Closed-end fund premia and returns Implications for financial market equilibrium," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 341-370, March.
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