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Value at Risk: A Standard Tool in Measuring Risk: A Quantitative Study on Stock Portfolio
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The role of risk management has gained momentum in recent years most notably after the recent financial crisis. This thesis uses a quantitative approach to evaluate the theory of value at risk which is considered a benchmark to measure financial risk. The thesis makes use of both parametric and non parametric approaches to evaluate the effectiveness of VAR as a standard tool in measuring risk of stock portfolio. This study uses the normal distribution, student t-distribution, historical simulation and the exponential weighted moving average at 95% and 99% confidence levels on the stock returns of Sonny Ericsson, Three Months Swedish Treasury bill (STB3M) and Nordea Bank. The evaluations of the VAR models are based on the Kupiec (1995) Test. From a general perspective, the results of the study indicate that VAR as a proxy of risk measurement has some imprecision in its estimates. However, this imprecision is not all the same for all the approaches. The results indicate that models which assume normality of return distribution display poor performance at both confidence levels than models which assume fatter tails or have leptokurtic characteristics. Another finding from the study which may be interesting is the fact that during the period of high volatility such as the financial crisis of 2008, the imprecision of VAR estimates increases. For the parametric approaches, the t-distribution VAR estimates were accurate at 95% confidence level, while normal distribution approach produced inaccurate estimates at 95% confidence level. However both approaches were unable to provide accurate estimates at 99% confidence level. For the non parametric approaches the exponentially weighted moving average outperformed the historical simulation approach at 95% confidence level, while at the 99% confidence level both approaches tend to perform equally. The results of this study thus question the reliability on VAR as a standard tool in measuring risk on stock portfolio. It also suggest that more research should be done to improve on the accuracy of VAR approaches, given that the role of risk management in today’s business environment is increasing ever than before. The study suggest VAR should be complemented with other risk measures such as Extreme value theory and stress testing, and that more than one back testing techniques should be used to test the accuracy of VAR.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 61 p.
Keyword [en]
Value at Risk, Back Testing, Kupiec Test, Student T-Distribution, Historical Simulation, Normal Distribution, and Exponentially Weighted Moving Average.
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-45303OAI: diva2:428847
2011-06-03, S209, UMEA UNIVERSITY, UMEA, 10:15 (English)
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-07-01 Created: 2011-07-01 Last updated: 2011-07-01Bibliographically approved

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