The KOSPI (Korea Composite Stock Price Index) 200 options are one of the most actively traded derivatives in the world. This paper empirically examines (a) the statistical properties of the Korea's representative implied volatility index (VKOSPI) derived from the KOSPI 200 options and (b) the macroeconomic and financial variables that can predict the implied volatility process of the index, using augmented heterogeneous autoregressive (HAR) models with exogenous covariates. The results suggest that the elaborate HAR framework is proficient at describing the dynamics of the VKOSPI and that some domestic macroeconomic variables explain the VKOSPI. More importantly, we find that the stock market return and implied volatility index of the US market (i.e., the S&P 500 spot return and the VIX from the S&P 500 options) play a key role in predicting the level of the VKOSPI and explaining its dynamics, and their explanatory power dominates that of domestic macro-finance variables. Further, while the domestic stock market return does not predict the VKOSPI, the US stock market return does so rather well. When two global factors, both the US stock market return and the US implied volatility index, are incorporated into the HAR framework, the model exhibits the best performance in terms of both in-sample fitting and out-of-sample forecasting ability.
heterogeneous autoregressive (HAR) model implied volatility index KOSPI 200 options S&P 500 VIX VKOSPI