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Q Rev Econ Finance ; 2022 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2150461


This paper investigates the potential hedging and safe-haven properties of several alternative investment assets, including gold, Bitcoin, oil, and the oil price volatility index (OVX), against the risks of the Saudi stock market and its constituent sectors in different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using daily data, we employ the bivariate dynamic conditional correlation-generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (DCC-GARCH) technique to model volatilities and conditional correlations. Our findings show that all investigated alternative investment assets had a time-varying hedging role in the Saudi stock market, which became expensive during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our results also show that the optimal weights for gold were substantially higher than those of other assets, reaching a peak during the pandemic, implying that investors consider gold a flight-to-safety asset. Additionally, we find that gold and OVX were strong hedges and could have served as weak safe havens for investors during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, while the remaining assets generally lacked these properties and could be merely used as diversifiers. Our empirical findings offer several key implications for policymakers and portfolio managers in Saudi Arabia that may be applicable to similar markets. In particular, we show that OVX-based products can serve as a promising hedging asset for stock markets in oil-exporting countries.