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Do universal banks create value? Universal bank affiliation and company performance in Belgium, 1905-1909


  • Overfelt, Wouter Van
  • Annaert, Jan
  • Ceuster, Marc De
  • Deloof, Marc


We investigate the impact of universal bank relations on the performance and the risk of listed companies in Belgium in the period 1905-1909. Our results are consistent with the view that universal banks are efficient institutions which overcome problems of asymmetric association inevitably associated with external finance. We find that universal bank affiliation was positively linked with market-to-book ratio and return-on-assets. Performance was also positively related to the degree of bank involvement. Universal bank relations were significant and negatively correlated with volatility of return-on-assets. Finally, stock return performance, measured by the Sharpe ratio, was also significantly better for affiliated corporations.

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  • Overfelt, Wouter Van & Annaert, Jan & Ceuster, Marc De & Deloof, Marc, 2009. "Do universal banks create value? Universal bank affiliation and company performance in Belgium, 1905-1909," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 253-265, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:46:y:2009:i:2:p:253-265

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    Cited by:

    1. Deloof, Marc & Vermoesen, Veronique, 2016. "The value of corporate boards during the Great Depression in Belgium," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 108-123.
    2. Colvin, Christopher L. & de Jong, Abe & Fliers, Philip T., 2015. "Predicting the past: Understanding the causes of bank distress in the Netherlands in the 1920s," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 97-121.


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