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Value-At-Risk as a Risk Measurement Tool for Swedish Equity Portfolios

Value-At-Risk as a Risk Measurement Tool for Swedish Equity Portfolios

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Department of Business Administration
Master Thesis
School of Economics
Lund University
Sweden
Spring 2000
Value-at-Risk as a Risk Measurement
Tool for Swedish Equity Portfolios
Tutor:
Authors:
Hossein Asgharian, Department of Economics
Mikael K\u00e4rrsten
Fredrik Olsson
Abstract
Title:
Value-at-Risk as a Risk Measurement Tool for Swedish Equity
Portfolios
Seminar date:
2000-06-08
Subject:
Master thesis 10 credits, Finance
Authors:
Mikael K\u00e4rrsten & Fredrik Olsson
Tutor:
Hossein Asgharian
Purpose:

The purpose of this Master thesis is to examine the applicability of different VaR methods for Swedish equity portfolios. In addition, we will analyse if equity market cap has any impact on how well- functioning and reliable the VaR methods are. Based on these results we will discuss the implications of VaR for asset managers.

Method:

To assess whether VaR can be considered as a reliable and stable risk measurement tool for Swedish equity portfolios, we have performed a quantitative study. The study covers three different VaR approaches and seven methods for both the 95% and the 99% confidence levels. Further on, all results are evaluated using nine different performance criteria as well as statis tical significance and normality tests.

Conclusions:

We can conclude that most VaR methods work well at the 95% confidence level, while at the 99% level the results are more ambiguous. The methods based on the assumption about normally distributed returns produce attractive results for the OMX portfolio, but for the small- cap and mixed portfolios these methods tend to underestimate the VaR. Further on, our study shows that the portfolio returns are not normally distributed. Due to this fact we recommend the historical simulation approach, which does not rest on the assumption about normality. In addition, the historical simulation with a window size of 250 trading days produces the most attractive results for the small-cap and mixed portfolios. However, none of the VaR methods seem to produce totally perfect and reliable results. Therefore VaR can be questioned as a useful tool for asset managers managing Swedish equity portfolios.

Key words:

VaR, distribution of financial returns, historical simulation, equally weighted moving average, exponentially weighted moving average.

Table of contents
1. Introduction
1

1.1 Background\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026... 1 1.2 Problem Discussion\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026... 2 1.3 Purpose\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026. 3 1.4 Target Group\u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 \u2026 4 1.5 Disposition\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026 4

2. Methodology
5
2.1 General methodology\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026 5

2.1.1 Choice of Subject\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026... 5 2.1.2 Perspective\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u20265 2.1.3 Scientific Approach\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026.. 6 2.1.4 Theory and Object\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026. 7

2.2 Practical Methodology\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026.. 7 2.2.1 Primary Data\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026. 7 2.2.2 Secondary Data\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026. 8

2.2.3 Criticism of the Sources\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u20268 2.3 Validity\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026.. 9 2.4 Reliability\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026.. 9 2.5 Empirical Study\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026. 9 2.6 Criticism of Chosen Methodology\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026 10 2.7 Alternative Methodology\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026.. 10

3. VaR Theory
11
3.1 Risks\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026.. 11

3.1.1 Value at Risk (VaR)\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026..13 3.2 The Implications of VaR for Asset Managers\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026... 14 3.3 Normal Distribution of Financial Returns\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026. 16

3.3.1 Skewness and Kurtosis\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026. 18
3.4 VaR Approaches\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u202619

3.4.1 The Historical Simulation Approach\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026 19
3.4.1.1 Advantages and Disadvantages of the HS Approach\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026.. 20
3.4.2 The Equally Weighted Average Approach\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026... 21
3.4.2.1 Advantages and Disadvantages of the EqWMA Approach\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026. 21
3.4.3 The Exponentially Weighted Average Approach\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026. 22
3.4.3.1 What Value of\u03bb Should Be Used?\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026.. 24
3.4.2.2 Advantages and Disadvantages of the ExpWMA Approach\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026... 24
3.4.4 The New Improved VaR Methodology\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026 25
3.4.4.1 Advantages and Disadvantages of the Improved VaR Methodology\u2026\u2026.. 26

3.4.5 Monte Carlo Simulation\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026 26
3.4.5.1 Advantages and Disadvantages with the MCS Approach\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026... 27
3.4.6 Semi-parametric VaR Approach\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026.. 27

3.4.6.1 Advantages and Disadvantages with the Semi -parametric VaR Approach.28
3.4.7 The Stress Testing Approach\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026 29
3.4.7.1 Advantages and Disadvantages with Stress Testing\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026 29

3.5 Multi-day VaR Prediction\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026 \u2026\u2026. 30

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