Performance of quality factor in Indian Equity Market


Performance of quality factor in Indian Equity Market

Joshy Jacob, Pradeep K.P., and Jayanth R.Varma

Working Papers

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We study the characteristics of Quality factor (QMJ) in India, which is the second largest emerging market. Dimensions of quality factor are impacted by the weaker enforcement of corporate governance norms in emerging markets. Diversion of revenues by promoters would result in poor profitability, while tunneling of profits would result in lower payout and lower growth. Therefore, investors are likely to attach greater significance to the quality dimensions in stock pricing. Consistent with this hypothesis, the Quality factor is even more important for asset pricing in India than in developed markets. The QMJ factor earns a four factor alpha of 0.92% per month, significantly outperforming the other widely employed factors, market, size, value and momentum factors. A long-only Quality factor earns an alpha of 0.69% per month. The alpha of quality factors is highly significant, judged by the thresholds recommended by Harvey, Liu, and Zhu (2016). The key drivers of the alpha are profitability and payout, which are both consistent with the tunnelling hypothesis. Besides the alpha, the low portfolio churn, lower risk, shorter drawdowns, and viability of long-only strategies restricted to large capitalization stocks suggest that portfolios tilted towards high-quality stocks are highly attractive to institutional and retail investors.