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

Aktham Maghyereh, Basel Awartani

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)64-79
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Financial Economic Policy
    Volume8
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Keywords

    • Energy
    • Financial markets
    • Time-series models

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Finance
    • Economics and Econometrics

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