Global Syndicated Lending during the COVID-19 Pandemic
This paper examines the pricing of global syndicated loans during the COVID-19 pandemic. We find that loan spreads rise by over 11 basis points in response to a one standard deviation increase in the lender's exposure to COVID-19 and over 5 basis points for an equivalent increase in the borrower's exposure. This implies excess interestof about USD 5.16 million and USD 2.37 million respectively for a loan of average size and duration. The aggravating effect of the pandemic is exacerbated with the level of government restrictions to tackle the virus's spread, with firms’ financial constraints and reliance on debt financing, whereas it is mitigated for relationship borrowers, borrowers listed in multiple exchanges or headquartered in countries that can attract institutional investors.