Global pricing of equity

J. Diermeier, B. SOLNIK

Financial Analysts Journal

July-August 2001, vol. 57, n°4, pp.37-47

Departments: Finance

Global equity management has historically been structured around country asset allocation. This approach was supported by the observations that the country factor is the major source of influence on stock-price behavior and that the correlation between equity and currency is close to zero and unstable. If a corporation is regarded as a portfolio of international activities, however, its stock price should be influenced by international factors in relation to the geographical breakdown of its activities rather than where its headquarters is located or its stock is traded. We examined a large cross-section of security prices and found that regional factors and currency factors have a strong influence on asset returns beyond that of domestic factors. Moreover, the sensitivity of individual company returns to nondomestic factors is closely related to the extent of their international activities, as proxied by the relative importance of foreign sales to total sales. We review the implications of these findings for the asset management profession