This paper examines the relationship between expected stock returns and size, and market-to-book ratio in five asian emerging markets: india, korea, malaysia, taiwan and thailand. Overall, we find a strong size effect in all markets and a significant market-to-book effect in korea, malaysia and thailand. When the tests allow for both variables, the negative relationship between size and average return is less robust; the inclusion of market-to-book equity seems to absorb the role of size in asian stock returns. Our finding for the asian market applies to the post-1984 period, thus questioning the assertion of black [j. Portfolio manage. 20 (1993) 8] and mackinlay (1995) that “the value premium is sample-specific”. Although small firms have—to a certain extent—higher average returns than large firms in asian markets, the market-to-book variable seems to have a consistently stronger role in average returns and would suggest that value stocks have higher average returns than growth stocks. Thus, the higher average return on value stocks in the asian emerging markets can be considered as a local manifestation of a global phenomenon.