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International Diversification Gains and Home Bias in Banking

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  • Alicia García-Herrero
  • Francisco F. Vázquez

Abstract

This paper assembles a bank-level dataset covering the operations of 38 international banks from eight industrial countries and their subsidiaries overseas during 1995-2004, and studies the extent of diversification gains from their local operations abroad. The paper finds that international banks with a larger share of assets allocated to foreign subsidiaries, particularly to those located in emerging market countries, are able to attain higher risk-adjusted returns. These gains are somewhat reduced- but by no means depleted-when international banks concentrate their subsidiaries in specific geographical regions. The paper also finds a substantial home bias in the international allocation of bank assets, relative to the results of a mean-variance portfolio optimization model. Overall, international diversification gains in banking appear to be substantial, albeit largely unexploited by current bank expansion strategies. These results suggest that international diversification gains could usefully be considered in the second pillar of Basel II as the first pillar is based only on the idiosyncratic risk of recipient countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 07/281.

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Length: 29
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/281

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Keywords: International banking; Bonds; Emerging markets; international banks; subsidiaries; financial statements; money market; bond yields; government bond yields; money market rates; government bonds; government bond; bond; capital markets; financial globalization; money market rate; international contagion; capital flows; domestic securities; equity returns; securities portfolios; financial intermediation;

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  1. Levy, Haim & Sarnat, Marshall, 1970. "International Diversification of Investment Portfolios," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(4), pages 668-75, September.
  2. James R. Barth & Gerard Caprio, Jr. & Ross Levine, 2002. "Bank Regulation and Supervision: What Works Best?," NBER Working Papers 9323, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Claudia M. Buch & John C. Driscoll & Charlotte Ostergaard, 2010. "Cross-Border Diversification in Bank Asset Portfolios," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 79-108, 03.
  4. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
  5. Kenneth R. French & James M. Poterba, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," NBER Working Papers 3609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Acharya, Viral V & Hasan, Iftekhar & Saunders, Anthony, 2002. "The Effects of Focus and Diversification on Bank Risk and Return: Evidence from Individual Bank Loan Portfolios," CEPR Discussion Papers 3252, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, 03.
  8. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  9. von Westernhagen, Natalja & Porath, Daniel & Hayden, Evelyn, 2006. "Does diversification improve the performance of German banks? Evidence from individual bank loan portfolios," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2006,05, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  10. Lessard, Donald R, 1973. "International Portfolio Diversification: A Multivariate Analysis for a Group of Latin American Countries," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 28(3), pages 619-33, June.
  11. Evelyn Hayden & Daniel Porath & Natalja von Westernhagen, 2006. "Does Diversification Improve the Performance of German Banks? Evidence from Individual Bank Loan Portfolios," Working Papers 110, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
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Cited by:
  1. Markus Leibrecht & Johann Scharler, 2009. "Banks, Financial Markets and International Consumption Risk Sharing," Economics working papers 2009-14, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  2. Georgiadis, Georgios, 2014. "Towards an explanation of cross-country asymmetries in monetary transmission," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 66-84.
  3. Bertay, Ata Can & Demirguc-Kunt Asli & Huizinga, Harry, 2012. "Is the financial safety net a barrier to cross-border banking ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5947, The World Bank.
  4. Alicia Garcia-Herrero & Daniel Santabarbara & Sergio Gavila, 2009. "What explains the low profitability of Chinese banks?," Working Papers 0909, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
  5. Eric van Wincoop, 2011. "International Contagion Through Leveraged Financial Institutions," NBER Working Papers 17686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Nicola Cetorelli & Linda S. Goldberg, 2008. "Banking Globalization, Monetary Transmission, and the Lending Channel," NBER Working Papers 14101, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lasse Steiner & Bruno S. Frey & Magnus Resch, 2013. "Home is where your art is: the home bias of art collectors," ECON - Working Papers 135, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.

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