Is Rated Debt Arm's Length? Evidence from Mergers and Acquisitions
CFS Working Papers, No. 2011/10,
In this paper we challenge the view that corporate bonds are always arm's length debt. We analyze the effect of bond ratings on the stock price return to acquirers in M&A transactions, which tend to have significant effects on creditor wealth. We find acquirers abnormal returns to be higher if they are unrated, controlling for a wide variety of other effects identified in the literature. Tracing the difference in returns to distinct managerial decisions, we find that, everything else constant, rated firms increase their leverage in takeover transactions by less than their unrated counterparts. Consistent with a significant role for rating agencies, we find monitoring effects to be strongest when acquirer bonds are rated at the borderline between investment grade and junk. Finally, we are able to empirically exclude a large number of alternative explanations for the empirical regularities that we uncover.
Finance and Growth in a Bank-Based Economy: Is It Quantity or Quality that Matters?
Journal of International Money and Finance,
Most finance–growth studies approximate the size of financial systems rather than the quality of intermediation to explain economic growth differentials. Furthermore, the neglect of systematic differences in cross-country studies could drive the result that finance matters. We suggest a measure of bank’s intermediation quality using bank-specific efficiency estimates and focus on the regions of one economy only: Germany. This quality measure has a significantly positive effect on growth. This result is robust to the exclusion of banks operating in multiple regions, controlling for the proximity of financial markets, when distinguishing different banking sectors active in Germany, and when excluding the structurally weaker East from the sample.
The Impact of Bank and Non-bank Financial Institutions on Local Economic Growth in China
Journal of Financial Services Research,
This paper provides evidence on the relationship between finance and growth in a fast growing country, such as China. Employing data of 27 Chinese provinces over the period 1995–2003, we study whether the financial development of two different types of financial institutions — banks and non-banks — have a (significantly different) impact on local economic growth. Our findings indicate that banking development shows a statistically significant and economically more pronounced impact on local economic growth.
Real Estate Prices and Bank Stability
Journal of Banking & Finance,
Real estate prices can deviate from their fundamental value due to rigid supply, heterogeneity in quality, and various market imperfections, which have two contrasting effects on bank stability. Higher prices increase the value of collateral and net wealth of borrowers and thus reduce the likelihood of credit defaults. In contrast, persistent deviations from fundamentals may foster the adverse selection of increasingly risky creditors by banks seeking to expand their loan portfolios, which increases bank distress probabilities. We test these hypotheses using unique data on real estate markets and banks in Germany. House price deviations contribute to bank instability, but nominal house price developments do not. This finding corroborates the importance of deviations from the fundamental value of real estate, rather than just price levels or changes alone, when assessing bank stability.
The Determinants of Bank Capital Structure
Review of Finance,
The paper shows that mispriced deposit insurance and capital regulation were of second-order importance in determining the capital structure of large U.S. and European banks during 1991 to 2004. Instead, standard cross-sectional determinants of non-financial firms’ leverage carry over to banks, except for banks whose capital ratio is close to the regulatory minimum. Consistent with a reduced role of deposit insurance, we document a shift in banks’ liability structure away from deposits towards non-deposit liabilities. We find that unobserved time-invariant bank fixed-effects are ultimately the most important determinant of banks’ capital structures and that banks’ leverage converges to bank specific, time-invariant targets.
Deriving the Term Structure of Banking Crisis Risk with a Compound Option Approach: The Case of Kazakhstan
Discussion paper, Series 2: Banking and financial studies, No. 01/2010,
We use a compound option-based structural credit risk model to infer a term structure of banking crisis risk from market data on bank stocks in daily frequency. Considering debt service payments with different maturities this term structure assigns a separate estimator for short- and long-term default risk to each maturity. Applying the Duan (1994) maximum likelihood approach, we find for Kazakhstan that the overall crisis probability was mainly driven by short-term risk, which increased from 25% in March 2007 to 80% in December 2008. Concurrently, the long-term default risk increased from 20% to only 25% during the same period.
Shocks at Large Banks and Banking Sector Distress: The Banking Granular Residual
Journal of Financial Stability,
Size matters in banking. In this paper, we explore whether shocks originating at large banks affect the probability of distress of smaller banks and thus the stability of the banking system. Our analysis proceeds in two steps. In a first step, we follow Gabaix and construct a measure of idiosyncratic shocks at large banks, the so-called Banking Granular Residual. This measure documents the importance of size effects for the German banking system. In a second step, we incorporate this measure of idiosyncratic shocks at large banks into an integrated stress-testing model for the German banking system following De Graeve et al. (2008). We find that positive shocks at large banks reduce the probability of distress of small banks.
Margins of international banking: Is there a productivity pecking order in banking, too?
Bundesbank Discussion Paper 12/2009,
Modern trade theory emphasizes firm-level productivity differentials to explain
the cross-border activities of non-financial firms. This study tests whether a
productivity pecking order also determines international banking activities. Using
a novel dataset that contains all German banks’ international activities, we
estimate the ordered probability of a presence abroad (extensive margin) and the
volume of international assets (intensive margin). Methodologically, we enrich the
conventional Heckman selection model to account for the self-selection of banks
into different modes of foreign activities using an ordered probit. Four main
findings emerge. First, similar to results for non-financial firms, a productivity
pecking order drives bank internationalization. Second, only a few non-financial
firms engage in international trade, but many banks hold international assets, and
only a few large banks engage in foreign direct investment. Third, in addition to
productivity, risk factors matter for international banking. Fourth, gravity-type
variables have an important impact on international banking activities.