Centre for Evidence-based Policy Advice
Centre for Evidence-based Policy Advice (IWH-CEP) ...
Four Research Clusters ...
Loan Syndication under Basel II: How Do Firm Credit Ratings Affect the Cost of Credit?
Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money,
This paper investigates how syndicated lenders react to borrowers’ rating changes under heterogeneous conditions and different regulatory regimes. Our findings suggest that corporate downgrades that increase capital requirements for lending banks under the Basel II framework are associated with increased loan spreads and deteriorating non-price loan terms relative to downgrades that do not affect capital requirements. Ratings exert an asymmetric impact on loan spreads, as these remain unresponsive to rating upgrades, even when the latter are associated with a reduction in risk weights for corporate loans. The increase in firm borrowing costs is mitigated in the presence of previous bank-firm lending relationships and for borrowers with relatively strong performance, high cash flows and low leverage.
Benign Neglect of Covenant Violations: Blissful Banking or Ignorant Monitoring
Theoretically, bank's loan monitoring activity hinges critically on its capitalization. To proxy for monitoring intensity, we use changes in borrowers' investment following loan covenant violations, when creditors can intervene in the governance of the firm. Exploiting granular bank‐firm relationships observed in the syndicated loan market, we document substantial heterogeneity in monitoring across banks and through time. Better capitalized banks are more lenient monitors that intervene less with covenant violators. Importantly, this hands‐off approach is associated with improved borrowers' performance. Beyond enhancing financial resilience, regulation that requires banks to hold more capital may thus also mitigate the tightening of credit terms when firms experience shocks.
Transactional and Relational Approaches to Political Connections and the Cost of Debt
Journal of Corporate Finance,
This paper examines the economic effects of a firm's approach to developing and maintaining political connections. Specifically, we investigate whether lenders favor transactional connection as opposed to relational connection. By tracing firms in a politically volatile emerging democracy in Indonesia, we find that firms following a transactional political connection strategy experience a relatively lower cost of debt than those with a relational strategy. The effect is more pronounced for firms facing high financial distress. The finding is robust to cost of bank loans and a variety of regression methods. Overall, the evidence suggests that in times of frequently changing political regimes, firms benefit from a transactional relationship with politicians as it enables to update connection with the government in power. Relational connection is valuable for a firm only when the political regime connected with it gains power.
Borrowers Under Water! Rare Disasters, Regional Banks, and Recovery Lending
Journal of Financial Intermediation,
We show that local banks provide corporate recovery lending to firms affected by adverse regional macro shocks. Banks that reside in counties unaffected by the natural disaster that we specify as macro shock increase lending to firms inside affected counties by 3%. Firms domiciled in flooded counties, in turn, increase corporate borrowing by 16% if they are connected to banks in unaffected counties. We find no indication that recovery lending entails excessive risk-taking or rent-seeking. However, within the group of shock-exposed banks, those without access to geographically more diversified interbank markets exhibit more credit risk and less equity capital.