Extreme observations and risk assessment in the equity markets of MENA region: Tail measures and Value-at-Risk
The standard "delta-normal" Value-at-Risk methodology requires that the underlying returns generating distribution for the security in question is normally distributed, with moments which can be estimated using historical data and are time-invariant. However, the stylized fact that returns are fat-tailed is likely to lead to under-prediction of both the size of extreme market movements and the frequency with which they occur. In this paper, we use the extreme value theory to analyze four emerging markets belonging to the MENA region (Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Turkey). We focus on the tails of the unconditional distribution of returns in each market and provide estimates of their tail index behavior. In the process, we find that the returns have significantly fatter tails than the normal distribution and therefore introduce the extreme value theory. We then estimate the maximum daily loss by computing the Value-at-Risk (VaR) in each market. Consistent with the results from other developing countries [see Gencay, R. and Selcuk, F., (2004). Extreme value theory and Value-at-Risk: relative performance in emerging markets. International Journal of Forecasting, 20, 287-303; Mendes, B., (2000). Computing robust risk measures in emerging equity markets using extreme value theory. Emerging Markets Quarterly, 4, 25-41; Silva, A. and Mendes, B., (2003). Value-at-Risk and extreme returns in Asian stock markets. International Journal of Business, 8, 17-40], generally, we find that the VaR estimates based on the tail index are higher than those based on a normal distribution for all markets, and therefore a proper risk assessment should not neglect the tail behavior in these markets, since that may lead to an improper evaluation of market risk. Our results should be useful to investors, bankers, and fund managers, whose success depends on the ability to forecast stock price movements in these markets and therefore build their portfolios based on these forecasts.
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