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Missing the marks? Dispersion in corporate bond valuations across mutual funds

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  • Cici, Gjergji
  • Gibson, Scott
  • Merrick Jr., John J.
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    Abstract

    We study the dispersion of month-end valuations placed on identical corporate bonds by different mutual funds. Such dispersion is related to bond-specific characteristics associated with liquidity and market volatility. The Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE) could have contributed to the general decline in dispersion over our sample period, though other factors most likely played roles. Further tests reveal marking patterns to be consistent with returns smoothing behavior by managers. Funds with ambiguous marking policies and those holding "hard-to-mark" bonds appear more prone to smooth reported returns. From a regulatory perspective, we see little downside to requiring funds to explicitly state their marking standards.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304405X11000341
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Economics.

    Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (July)
    Pages: 206-226

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:101:y:2011:i:1:p:206-226

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576

    Related research

    Keywords: Mutual funds Bonds Valuation Fair value Corporate bond funds;

    References

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    1. Getmansky, Mila & Lo, Andrew & Makarov, Igor, 2003. "An Econometric Model of Serial Correlation and Illiquidity In Hedge Fund Returns," Working papers 4288-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    2. Yakov Amihud & Haim Mendelson & Beni Lauterbach, 1997. "Market Microstructure and Securities Values: Evidence from the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 98-004, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
    3. Bollen, Nicolas P. B. & Pool, Veronika K., 2008. "Conditional Return Smoothing in the Hedge Fund Industry," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(02), pages 267-298, June.
    4. Eric Zitzewitz, 2003. "Who Cares About Shareholders? Arbitrage-Proofing Mutual Funds," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 245-280, October.
    5. Rahul Bhargava & Ann Bose & David A. Dubofsky, 1998. "Exploiting International Stock Market Correlations with Open-end International Mutual Funds," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(5&6), pages 765-773.
    6. Goetzmann, William N. & Ivković, Zoran & Rouwenhorst, K. Geert, 2001. "Day Trading International Mutual Funds: Evidence and Policy Solutions," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(03), pages 287-309, September.
    7. Bessembinder, Hendrik & Maxwell, William & Venkataraman, Kumar, 2006. "Market transparency, liquidity externalities, and institutional trading costs in corporate bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 251-288, November.
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    Cited by:
    1. Cici, Gjergji & Gibson, Scott & Gunduz, Yalin & Merrick, John J., 2013. "Market transparency and the marking precision of bond mutual fund managers," CFR Working Papers 13-07, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).

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