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The “Forward Premium Puzzle” and the Sovereign Default Risk

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  • Virginie Coudert
  • Valérie Mignon

Abstract

Carry-trade strategies which consist of buying forward high-yield currencies tend to generate positive excess returns during long periods of time. Here, we aim at explaining this puzzle by the default risk, which is frequently taken on by investing in high-yield currencies. We empirically test for this hypothesis on a sample of 18 emerging currencies over the period from June 2005 to September 2010, the default risk being proxied by the sovereign credit default swap spread. Relying on smooth transition regression models, we show that default risk fuels the carry-trade gains during periods of upbeat financial markets, and worsens the losses in bear markets. We then introduce the default risk into the “Fama regression” linking the exchange-rate depreciation to the interest-rate differential. The “forward bias”, usually evidenced by a coefficient smaller than unity in this regression, is somewhat alleviated, as the default risk partially explains the excess return.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2011-17.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2011-17

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Keywords: Carry trades; Forward premium; UIP puzzle; Default risk; Smooth transition regression models;

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References

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  1. Adrien Verdelhan, 2005. "A Habit-Based Explanation of the Exchange Rate Risk Premium," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2005-032, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. repec:hal:cepnwp:hal-00845254 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Isaac Kleshchelski & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "Do Peso Problems Explain the Returns to the Carry Trade?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(3), pages 853-891.
  4. Angelo Ranaldo & Paul Söderlind, 2007. "Safe Haven Currencies," Working Papers 2007-17, Swiss National Bank.
  5. Marion Kohler, 2010. "Exchange rates during financial crises," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
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  7. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Stefan Nagel & Lasse H. Pedersen, 2008. "Carry Trades and Currency Crashes," NBER Working Papers 14473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Virginie Coudert & Cécile Couharde & Valérie Mignon, 2010. "Exchange Rate Flexibility Across Financial Crises," Working Papers 2010-08, CEPII research center.
  9. Engel, Charles, 1996. "The forward discount anomaly and the risk premium: A survey of recent evidence," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 123-192, June.
  10. Hanno Lustig & Adrien Verdelhan, 2004. "The Cross-Section of Foreign Currency Risk Premia and US Consumption Growth Risk," 2004 Meeting Papers 136c, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Coudert, Virginie & Gex, Mathieu, 2008. "Does risk aversion drive financial crises? Testing the predictive power of empirical indicators," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 167-184, March.
  12. Clarida, Richard & Davis, Josh & Pedersen, Niels, 2009. "Currency carry trade regimes: Beyond the Fama regression," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 1375-1389, December.
  13. Kindleberger,, 2008. "Financial Crises," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521068710, October.
  14. Terasvirta, T & Anderson, H M, 1992. "Characterizing Nonlinearities in Business Cycles Using Smooth Transition Autoregressive Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(S), pages S119-36, Suppl. De.
  15. Huisman, Ronald & Koedijk, Kees & Kool, Clemens & Nissen, Francois, 1998. "Extreme support for uncovered interest parity," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 211-228, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Virginie Coudert & Cyriac Guillaumin & Hélene Raymond, 2014. "Looking at the Other Side of Carry Trades: Are there any Safe Haven Currencies?," Working Papers 2014-03, CEPII research center.
  2. Snaith, Stuart & Coakley, Jerry & Kellard, Neil, 2013. "Does the forward premium puzzle disappear over the horizon?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3681-3693.
  3. Loring, Grace & Lucey, Brian, 2013. "An analysis of forward exchange rate biasedness across developed and developing country currencies: Do observed patterns persist out of sample?," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 14-28.
  4. Vithessonthi, Chaiporn, 2014. "Monetary policy and the first- and second-moment exchange rate change during the global financial crisis: Evidence from Thailand," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 170-194.

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