The aim of this paper is twofold. First, it aims to provide better understanding for the main sources behind the value premium in the UK. Second, given that the value factor (HML) in the Fama‐French three‐factor model is itself a proxy for value premium, this paper seeks to illustrate the component of HML responsible for explaining UK portfolio returns.
For the period July 1991 to June 2006, value premium is broken into two components: one is related to small stocks and the other to big stocks. Then monthly time‐series regressions are used to test which component of value premium provides better explanatory power for UK portfolio returns.
The empirical results indicate that the value premium in average returns is due to small market capitalization stocks. Moreover, value stocks do not seem riskier than growth stocks according to their market beta. Furthermore, the significance of the value factor (HML) in explaining UK portfolio returns is mainly due to its small stock component (HMLS). The paper suggests a revision for the Fama‐French three‐factor model that replaces HML by HMLS.
Academics are interested in understanding the main sources of value premium and the reasons behind the significance of the value factor in explaining UK portfolio returns. Investors and fund managers who wish to exploit the value premium will tilt their portfolios towards value stocks that have low‐market capitalization. Both academics and practitioners may consider altering the Fama‐French model, as suggested by the paper, when estimating the cost of capital.
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