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Market efficiency of gold exchange-traded funds in India

by   Rupel Nargunam, et al.

Background: Gold exchange-traded funds, since introduction, are primarily aimed at tracking the price of physical gold in the financial market. This, a category of exchange-traded funds, whose units represent physical gold, is traded on exchanges like any other financial instrument. In the Indian financial market, gold exchange traded funds were introduced a decade ago to facilitate ordinary households' participation in the bullion market. They were also designed to assist in the price discovery mechanism of the bullion market. Presentation of the hypothesis: In this paper, it is attempted to check if one of the constituents of price discovery mechanism, informational efficiency, has been achieved in gold exchange-traded funds’ market. Information efficiency becomes evident only when all available information is reflected in the market price of the instrument. Testing the hypothesis: Therefore, in order to assess the weak-form efficiency of the gold exchange-traded funds market, the daily returns of five gold exchangetraded funds traded on the Indian Stock Exchange over the period March 22, 2010, to August 28, 2015, were used. The non-parametric runs test, the parametric serial correlation test, and the augmented Dickey-Fuller unit root test are employed. Implications of the hypothesis: The test results provide evidence that the efficient market hypothesis does not hold for the gold exchange-traded funds’ market in India. Further, the test results address several underlying issues with respect to price discovery in the market under study and suggest that the Indian market for this derivative is not weak-form efficient. Hence, the factors affecting gold exchange traded-funds’ market warrant the attention of the country’s regulatory bodies, as appropriate legislation in support of market efficiency is needed.


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