Stock markets play a key role in corporate financing in Asia. However, despite their increasing importance in terms of size and cross-border investment activity, the region’s markets are reputed to be more “idiosyncratic” and less reliant on economic and corporate fundamentals in their pricing. Using a model that draws on international asset pricing and economic theory, as well as accounting literature, we find evidence of greater idiosyncratic influences in the pricing of Asia’s stock markets, compared to their G-7 counterparts, beyond the identified systematic factors and local fundamentals. We also show proof of a significant relationship between the strength of implementation of securities regulations and the “noise” in stock pricing, which suggests that improvements in the regulation of securities markets in Asia could enhance the role of stock markets as stable and reliable sources of financing into the future.
In the aftermath of the Lehman crisis, payouts (i.e., taxpayer bailouts) in various forms were provided by governments to a variety of financial institutions and markets that were outside the regulatory perimeter - the "shadow" banking system. Although recent regulatory proposals attempt to reduce these "puts", we provide examples from non-banking activities within a bank, money market funds, Triparty repo, OTC derivatives market, collateral with central banks, and issuance of floating rate notes etc., that these risks remain. We suggest that a regulatory environment where puts are not ambiguous will likely lower the cost of bail-outs after a crisis.