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Portfolio credit-risk optimization

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  • Iscoe, Ian
  • Kreinin, Alexander
  • Mausser, Helmut
  • Romanko, Oleksandr
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    Abstract

    This paper evaluates several alternative formulations for minimizing the credit risk of a portfolio of financial contracts with different counterparties. Credit risk optimization is challenging because the portfolio loss distribution is typically unavailable in closed form. This makes it difficult to accurately compute Value-at-Risk (VaR) and expected shortfall (ES) at the extreme quantiles that are of practical interest to financial institutions. Our formulations all exploit the conditional independence of counterparties under a structural credit risk model. We consider various approximations to the conditional portfolio loss distribution and formulate VaR and ES minimization problems for each case. We use two realistic credit portfolios to assess the in- and out-of-sample performance for the resulting VaR- and ES-optimized portfolios, as well as for those which we obtain by minimizing the variance or the second moment of the portfolio losses. We find that a Normal approximation to the conditional loss distribution performs best from a practical standpoint.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 6 ()
    Pages: 1604-1615

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:36:y:2012:i:6:p:1604-1615

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

    Related research

    Keywords: Credit risk; Optimization; Portfolio optimization; Risk modeling; Value-at-Risk; Expected shortfall;

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    1. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, 03.
    2. Rockafellar, R. Tyrrell & Uryasev, Stanislav, 2002. "Conditional value-at-risk for general loss distributions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(7), pages 1443-1471, July.
    3. Norbert Jobst & Stavros A. Zenios, 2001. "The Tail that Wags the Dog: Integrating Credit Risk in Asset Portfolios," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 01-24, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    4. Tilke, Stephan, 2006. "Reducing Asset Weights' Volatility by Importance Sampling in Stochastic Credit Portfolio Optimization," University of Regensburg Working Papers in Business, Economics and Management Information Systems 417, University of Regensburg, Department of Economics.
    5. Alexander, S. & Coleman, T.F. & Li, Y., 2006. "Minimizing CVaR and VaR for a portfolio of derivatives," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 583-605, February.
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