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Credit Risk Diversification

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  • Simonne Varotto

    ()
    (ICMA Centre, University of Reading)

Abstract

We study the role of diversification in reducing the volatility of corporate bond returns induced by changes in credit spreads. Specifically, we look at how credit risk can be diminished when a portfolio is diversified across countries, industry sectors, maturities, seniority types and credit ratings. The role of national industrial structures on international diversification is also investigated. Our results show that geographical diversification is more effective in reducing portfolio risk than any alternative investment strategy we consider, and that industry effects are not material to this result. Finally, we explore the implications of our findings for credit risk capital regulation in banks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Henley Business School, Reading University in its series ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance with number icma-dp2001-07.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rdg:icmadp:icma-dp2001-07

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Web page: http://www.henley.reading.ac.uk/
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Related research

Keywords: Credit Risk Diversification; Globally and locally systematic risk; bond ratings;

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References

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  1. Pamela Nickell & William Perraudin & Simone Varotto, 2001. "Stability of ratings transitions," Bank of England working papers 133, Bank of England.
  2. Solnik, B H, 1974. "The International Pricing of Risk: An Empirical Investigation of the World Capital Market Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 365-78, May.
  3. Heston, Steven L. & Rouwenhorst, K. Geert, 1994. "Does industrial structure explain the benefits of international diversification?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 3-27, August.
  4. Jarrow, Robert A & Lando, David & Turnbull, Stuart M, 1997. "A Markov Model for the Term Structure of Credit Risk Spreads," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(2), pages 481-523.
  5. Robert E. Cumby & Martin D.D. Evans, 1995. "The Term Structure of Credit Risk: Estimates and Specification Tests," Working Papers 95-14, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  6. John Y. Campbell & John Ammer, 1991. "What Moves the Stock and Bond Markets? A Variance Decomposition for Long-Term Asset Returns," NBER Working Papers 3760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Fama, Eugene F & MacBeth, James D, 1973. "Risk, Return, and Equilibrium: Empirical Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 607-36, May-June.
  8. Levy, Haim & Sarnat, Marshall, 1970. "International Diversification of Investment Portfolios," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(4), pages 668-75, September.
  9. Griffin, John M. & Andrew Karolyi, G., 1998. "Another look at the role of the industrial structure of markets for international diversification strategies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 351-373, December.
  10. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
  11. Kaplanis, Evi & Schaefer, Stephen M., 1991. "Exchange risk and international diversification in bond and equity portfolios," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 287-307, November.
  12. Beckers, Stan & Grinold, Richard & Rudd, Andrew & Stefek, Dan, 1992. "The relative importance of common factors across the European equity markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 75-95, February.
  13. Kennedy, Peter, 1986. "Interpreting Dummy Variables," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(1), pages 174-75, February.
  14. Edwin J. Elton, 2001. "Explaining the Rate Spread on Corporate Bonds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 247-277, 02.
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Cited by:
  1. Jackson, Patricia & Perraudin, William & Saporta, Victoria, 2002. "Regulatory and "economic" solvency standards for internationally active banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 953-976, May.
  2. Lopez, Jose A., 2004. "The empirical relationship between average asset correlation, firm probability of default, and asset size," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 265-283, April.

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