Tomorrow’s Leaders Program

Success Stories

Rami Hammoud: Landing His First Publication on Global Risk Factors in GCC Stock Markets

Rami Hammoud, a MEPI TLG student, has landed his first publication in a prestigious journal “Energy Economics”. This was the fruition of a collaboration between MEPI and the Graduate Research Office. He worked with his supervisor doctor Elie Bouri for a period of 7 months to produce a research paper tackling the effect of two global risk factors, namely oil implied volatility and geopolitical risk, on stock returns and volatility of 8 GCC countries.

The importance of crude oil volatility and geopolitical risk for stock pricing is well-known in both developed and emerging economies, yet understudied in major oil-exporting countries at the sectoral level of stock indices and under various market conditions. Using daily data on eight Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) stock sector indices over the period February 2010–30 June 2022, they captured the effect of two global risk factors, namely oil implied volatility and geopolitical risk, on stock returns and volatility while accounting for bull/bear markets and low/high volatility regimes.

Their findings highlight the predictability of GCC stock sector returns and volatility, as well as the design of hedging strategies under various market states. The results demonstrate that the effect of oil implied volatility is stronger than that of geopolitical risk, notably for Consumer Discretionary and Staples. Moreover, the effect on both returns and volatility is generally positive during bull markets, but it is stronger for volatility, with the response of the returns of Energy, Materials, Industrials, and Financials being negative in bear markets and positive during bull markets. They have also discovered that the effect of oil implied volatility on stock sector volatility is slightly higher during the COVID-19 outbreak for some cases and is prominent during bull markets.

By publishing this academic paper, he is contributing to the body of knowledge in the field of energy economics, potentially influencing policies and practices in the region.
When asked about his achievement, Rami shared, “This is a significant accomplishment for me, and I am proud to have demonstrated my engagement and participation in the academic community. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with MEPI and the Graduate Research Office, and I am eager to make a name for myself in the academic community.”

Join us in celebrating with Rami for this exciting achievement!

You can read the published paper at:

This study is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Department of State. The contents are the responsibility of the first author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of State or the United States Government.