Ownership Structure and the Cost of Debt: Evidence From the Chinese Corporate Bond Market
Journal of Empirical Finance,
Drawing upon evidence from the Chinese corporate bond market, we study how ownership structure affects the cost of debt for firms. Our results show that state, institutional and foreign ownership formats reduce the cost of debt for firms. The benefits of state ownership are accentuated when the issuer is headquartered in a province with highly developed market institutions, operates in an industry less dominated by the state or during the period after the 2012 anti-corruption reforms. Institutional ownership provides the most benefits in environments with lower levels of marketization, especially for firms with low credit quality. Our evidence sheds light on the nexus of ownership and debt cost in a political economy where state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and non-SOEs face productivity and credit frictions. It is also illustrative of how the market environment interacts with corporate ownership in affecting the cost of bond issuance.
COVID-19 Pandemic and Global Corporate CDS Spreads
Journal of Banking and Finance,
We examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the credit risk of companies around the world. We find that increased infection rates affect firms more adversely as reflected by the wider increase in their credit default swap (CDS) spreads if they are larger, more leveraged, closer to default, have worse governance and more limited stakeholder engagement, and operate in more highly exposed industries. We observe that country-level determinants such as GDP, political stability, foreign direct investment, and commitment to crisis management (income support, health and lockdown policies) also affect the sensitivity of CDS spreads to COVID-19 infection rates. A negative amplification effect exists for firms with high default probability in countries with fiscal constraints. A direct comparison between global CDS and stock markets reveals that the CDS market prices in a distinct set of corporate traits and government policies in pandemic times.
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