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Assessing Credit Risk of Companies with Mean-Reverting Leverage Ratios

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Author Info

  • C. F. Lo

    (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

  • T. C. Wong

    (Hong Kong Monetary Authority)

  • C. H. Hui

    (Hong Kong Monetary Authority)

  • M. X. Huang

    (University of Technology, Sydney)

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    Abstract

    Empirical findings and theoretical studies suggest that firms adjust towards time-varying target leverage ratios. This paper studies the performances of the default probabilities generated from two stationaryleverage models with time-dependent and constant target ratios respectively. The time-dependent model consistently performs better in terms of discriminatory power of differentiating firms' default risk and capability for predicting default rates over the period 1996 to 2006. The model provides appropriate measures of credit risk of firms and evidence to support the existence of a time-varying target leverage ratio.

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    File URL: http://www.hkimr.org/uploads/publication/169/ub_full_0_2_173_working-paper-no-4_2008_1c.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research in its series Working Papers with number 042008.

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    Length: 31 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:042008

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    Related research

    Keywords: Leverage; Default probabilities; Credit risk;

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    References

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    1. Korajczyk, Robert A. & Levy, Amnon, 2003. "Capital structure choice: macroeconomic conditions and financial constraints," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 75-109, April.
    2. Merton, Robert C, 1974. "On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-70, May.
    3. Christopher A. Hennessy & Toni M. Whited, 2005. "Debt Dynamics," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1129-1165, 06.
    4. Pierre Collin-Dufresne, 2001. "Do Credit Spreads Reflect Stationary Leverage Ratios?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(5), pages 1929-1957, October.
    5. Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R., 2001. "The theory and practice of corporate finance: evidence from the field," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 187-243, May.
    6. Shyam-Sunder, Lakshmi & C. Myers, Stewart, 1999. "Testing static tradeoff against pecking order models of capital structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 219-244, February.
    7. Hovakimian, Armen & Opler, Tim & Titman, Sheridan, 2001. "The Debt-Equity Choice," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(01), pages 1-24, March.
    8. Childs, Paul D. & Mauer, David C. & Ott, Steven H., 2005. "Interactions of corporate financing and investment decisions: The effects of agency conflicts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 667-690, June.
    9. Marsh, Paul, 1982. " The Choice between Equity and Debt: An Empirical Study," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(1), pages 121-44, March.
    10. C. F. Lo & H. C. Lee & C. H. Hui, 2003. "A simple approach for pricing barrier options with time-dependent parameters," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 98-107.
    11. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Löffler, Gunter & Maurer, Alina, 2011. "Incorporating the dynamics of leverage into default prediction," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 3351-3361.
    2. Gunter Löffler & Alina Maurer, 2009. "Incorporating the Dynamics of Leverage into Default Prediction," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2009-024, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.

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