Financial distress, information asymmetry, and syndicate structure: Evidence from Japanese borrowers
This paper examines how borrower firm characteristics affect syndicate size structure in the Japanese loan market for the 1999-2003 period when the banking system is undergoing a major consolidation. We find that syndicates are smaller when borrowers have higher credit risk and when borrowers present larger information asymmetries to the lending group. Interestingly, however, these results are primarily driven by keiretsu (business group) firms. This suggests that the benefits of enhanced monitoring and superior renegotiation prospects are especially useful for banks participating in syndicated loans to Keiretsu firms in Japan rather than informationally opaque, independent firms.
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