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Oil price uncertainty and equity returns: Evidence from oil importing and exporting countries in the MENA region


  • Aktham Maghyereh
  • Basel Awartani


Purpose - This paper aims to examine the impact of oil price uncertainty on the stock market returns of ten oil importing and exporting countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The sample contains both oil importing and oil exporting countries that depend heavily on oil production and exports. Design/methodology/approach - This paper intuitively applies the generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (GARCH)-in-mean vector autoregression (VAR) model using weekly data over the period January 2001-February 2014. Findings - The findings indicate that oil uncertainty matters in the determination of real stock returns. There is a negative and significant relationship between oil price uncertainty and real stock returns in all countries in the sample. The influence of oil price risk is more serious in those economies that depend heavily on oil revenues to grow. Practical implications - The findings have important implications. For instance, managers should be aware of the linkages between oil price uncertainty and equity returns when they use oil to hedge and diversify equities, particularly in economies where oil is important for economic growth. The policymakers in oil importing countries should encourage companies to improve efficiency in the usage of energy and to resort to alternative sources to avoid fluctuations in earnings and equity prices. In the countries that heavily depend on oil efforts should focus on diversifying the domestic economy away from oil to protect against oil price fluctuations. Originality/value - To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to study the influence of oil price uncertainty in the MENA region. The sample contains both oil importing and oil exporting countries that depend heavily on oil production and exports. The empirical findings of the paper have valuable policy implications for investors, market participants and policymakers.

Suggested Citation

  • Aktham Maghyereh & Basel Awartani, 2016. "Oil price uncertainty and equity returns: Evidence from oil importing and exporting countries in the MENA region," Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 8(1), pages 64-79, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:jfeppp:v:8:y:2016:i:1:p:64-79

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    Cited by:

    1. Dina Gabbori & Basel Awartani & Aktham Maghyereh & Nader Virk, 2021. "OPEC meetings, oil market volatility and herding behaviour in the Saudi Arabia stock market," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(1), pages 870-888, January.
    2. Wang, Xunxiao, 2020. "Frequency dynamics of volatility spillovers among crude oil and international stock markets: The role of the interest rate," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).
    3. Mohti, Wahbeeah & Dionísio, Andreia & Vieira, Isabel & Ferreira, Paulo, 2019. "Financial contagion analysis in frontier markets: Evidence from the US subprime and the Eurozone debt crises," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 525(C), pages 1388-1398.
    4. Wang, Xunxiao & Wu, Chongfeng, 2018. "Asymmetric volatility spillovers between crude oil and international financial markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 592-604.
    5. Bolanos, Jose A., 2019. "Energy, uncertainty, and entrepreneurship: John D Rockefeller’s sequential approach to transaction costs management in the early oil industry," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 100852, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Iman Cheratian & Mohammad Reza Farzanegan & Saleh Goltabar, 2019. "Oil Price Shocks and Unemployment Rate: New Evidence from the MENA Region," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201931, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    7. Awartani, Basel & Maghyereh, Aktham & Ayton, Julie, 2020. "Oil price changes and industrial output in the MENA region: Nonlinearities and asymmetries," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 196(C).

    More about this item


    Financial markets; Energy; Time-series models; G1; G15; O53; Q43;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy


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