Extending the extant literature and using Qatar’s equity market as a case study, this paper aims to look into the potential impacts of foreign investor groups’ trading activities on market volatility in comparison with those of Qatar’s domestic investor counterparts.
The dataset is comprised of daily aggregated values of stock purchases and sales made separately by four investor groups, namely, foreign individual investors, foreign institutional investors, domestic individual investors, and domestic institutional investors. An ex post measure of volatility introduced by Rogers and Satchell (1991) is employed. Four proxies for investor trading are considered separately in the analysis. The objective of the study is empirically addressed in the context of the Generalized Method of Moments estimation technique.
In general, there exists substantial contemporaneous price impact associated with foreign equity investment in the Qatari capital market, despite the fact that foreigners’ buy and sell trades are not as large as those of their domestic counterparts. More specifically, foreign institutional sales (purchases) tend to increase (reduce) market volatility. Like those of foreign institutions, the sell trades by foreign individuals have a positive impact on volatility. On the other hand, domestic institutional purchases are significantly negatively related with market volatility, whereas the sell trades by the same category have no impact on volatility. Finally, surprises in foreigners’ trading volumes turn out to be responsible for adding to volatility.
Although a sudden reversal of foreign capital flows can pose a real threat to the stability of the Qatari capital market, such capital flows are deemed to be an indispensable vehicle for enhancing the liquidity and efficiency of the market. Accordingly, policy makers in Qatar should overhaul the current foreign investment legislation to make it even more streamlined and better suited to achieving the country’s strategic vision for the market. Foremost in these reforms is relaxing the stringent 25 percent foreign ownership restriction. Such a relaxation process is highly recommended to be phased in only gradually, in order to weigh its pros and cons. In this regard, the authorities concerned should consider embarking on a range of procedures intended to ward off the adverse ramifications of foreign capital outflows.
To the author’s best knowledge, no study about the impact of foreign equity flows on domestic markets has been so far conducted using trading data from the Qatari market. This work presents one such attempt.
Ahmed, W.M.A. (2016), "Cross-border equity flows and market volatility: the case of Qatar Exchange", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 395-418. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOEM-11-2013-0177Download as .RIS
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