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Durham e-Theses
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Stock return, risk and asset pricing

Ghunmi, Diana Nawwash Abed El-Hafeth Abu (2008) Stock return, risk and asset pricing. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis attempts to address a number of issues that have been identified in the asset pricing literature as essential for shaping stock returns. These issues include the need to uncover the link between the macroeconomic variables and stock returns. In addition to this, is the need to decide, in light of the findings of the literature, whether to advise investors to include idiosyncratic risk and downside risk as risk factors in their asset pricing models. The results presented here suggest, consistent with other previous studies, that stock returns are a function of a number of previously identified risk factors along with the wider set of macroeconomic variables. These macroeconomic variables could be represented by a number of estimated macro factors. However, only one of these estimated factors emerged as significant in explaining the cross-section of stock returns. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the size (SMB) and value (HML) factors remain important factors in explaining the cross sectional returns on UK stocks, even with the existence of the other risk factors. This finding of inability of the examined macroeconomic variables to capture the pricing power of the SMB and the HML may cast doubt on the possibility of finding more macroeconomic factors that are able to account for these two factors in the cross section of returns in the UK. Interestingly, this conclusion seems to contradict previous authors' findings of potential links in the UK market. The results also support past studies that find that downside risk is an important risk factor and by allowing the downside risk premium to vary with business cycle conditions, downside risk might be a better measure of risk than market risk. Nevertheless, this thesis shows that although this finding is applicable in times of economic expansion, during recession, there is no conclusive relationship between . downside risk and stock returns. Furthermore, this thesis supports the studies which find that idiosyncratic risk is not significant in pricing stocks. However in contrast to other studies, it reveals this by showing that time-varying risk could be the reason behind the potentially illusive findings of idiosyncratic risk effect. This thesis confirms that, for London Stock Exchange investors, macroeconomic variables should never be overlooked when estimating stock returns and downside risk could be an influential risk factor.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2008
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:57

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