Capital Market Integration in the Middle East and North Africa
This paper studies capital market integration in Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries and its implications for international portfolio investment allocation. Starting with four cointegration methodologies, we significantly reject the hypothesis of a stable, long-run bivariate relationship between each of these markets and the European Monetary Union (EMU), the United States, and a regional benchmark. This indicates the existence of significant diversification opportunities for three categories of investors (EMU, world, and regional investors). A recursive analysis based on Barari (2004) suggests that recently, the MENA markets have started to move toward international financial integration. Investigating the effect of selected financial, economic, and political events on such a process, we extend the methodology and find that the markets react heterogeneously to the different categories of shocks. They should therefore not be treated as a bloc for global allocation purposes. Finally, after adjusting the integration levels by relative market capitalization, Israel and Turkey are the most promising markets in the region, followed by Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco. Tunisia and Lebanon seem to be lagging behind.
Volume (Year): 43 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
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