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Debt-equity swaps and the enforcement of sovereign loan contracts

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  • Michael Bowe

    (Manchester School of Management, UMIST, Manchester, M60 1QD, UK)

  • James W. Dean

    (Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C. V5A 1S6 and Western Washington University)

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    Abstract

    This paper analyses the incentive compatibility effects associated with restructuring sovereign debt through a debt-equity swap scheme and the analytically related issue of providing new project finance in developing countries through equity convertible bond issues. Our central result is that these initiatives can generate efficient investment incentives and also provide a partial contractual enforcement mechanism by reconciling the investment interests of debtors and their external creditors. Unlike previous analysis of the benefits of swaps, our results make no appeal to risk considerations nor invoke informational asymmetries. We also derive a necessary condition for swaps to overcome the free-rider barrier to the provision of voluntary, market-based debt relief. In contrast to Brady Plan restructurings, this condition does not rely on taxation of the capital gains accruing to non-participating creditors. The results should be viewed in the context of the structural transformation which has recently occurred in the source of capital flows to developing countries, from syndicated bank lending to the international bond markets. The analysis advocates an enhanced role for equity convertible bond issues in this resurgence of international capital market activity. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

    Volume (Year): 9 (1997)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 59-83

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:9:y:1997:i:1:p:59-83

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    Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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    1. Elhanan Helpman, 1989. "Voluntary Debt Reduction: Incentives and Welfare," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(3), pages 580-611, September.
    2. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 155-78, February.
    3. Eaton, Jonathan, 1990. "Debt Relief and the International Enforcement of Loan Contracts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 43-56, Winter.
    4. Blake, David & Pradhan, Mahmood, 1991. "Debt-equity swaps as bond conversions: implications for pricing," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 29-41, February.
    5. Leonardo Bartolini & Avinash Dixit, 1991. "Market Valuation of Illiquid Debt and Implications for Conflicts among Creditors," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 38(4), pages 828-849, December.
    6. Robert C. Merton, 1973. "Theory of Rational Option Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 4(1), pages 141-183, Spring.
    7. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    8. Michael P. Dooley, 1988. "Buy-Backs and Market Valuation of External Debt," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(2), pages 215-229, June.
    9. William R. Cline, 1995. "International Debt Reexamined," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 46.
    10. Bowe, Michael & Dean, James W, 1993. "Debt-Equity Swaps: Investment Incentive Effects and Secondary Market Prices," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(1), pages 130-47, January.
    11. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Scholarly Articles 12491028, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:
    1. Bowe, M. & Dean, J.W., 1997. "Has the Market Solved the Sovereign-Debt Crisis?," Princeton Studies in International Economics 83, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.

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