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International diversification and risk of multinational banks: Evidence from the pre-crisis period

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  • Gulamhussen, M.A.
  • Pinheiro, Carlos
  • Pozzolo, Alberto Franco

Abstract

The recent financial crisis has clearly shown that the relationship between bank internationalization and risk is complex. Multinational banks can benefit from portfolio diversification, reducing their overall riskiness, but this effect can be offset by incentives going in the opposite direction, leading them to take on excessive risks. Since both effects are grounded on solid theoretical arguments, the answer of what is the actual relationship between bank internationalization and risk is left to the empirical analysis. In this paper, we study such relationship in the period leading to the financial crisis of 2007–2008. For a sample of 384 listed banks from 56 countries, we calculate two measures of risk for the period from 2001 to 2007 – the expected default frequency (EDF), a market-based and forward-looking indicator, and the Z-score, a balance-sheet-based and backward-looking measure – and relate them to the degree of banks’ internationalization. We find robust evidence that international diversification increases bank risk.

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  • Gulamhussen, M.A. & Pinheiro, Carlos & Pozzolo, Alberto Franco, 2014. "International diversification and risk of multinational banks: Evidence from the pre-crisis period," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 30-43.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finsta:v:13:y:2014:i:c:p:30-43 DOI: 10.1016/j.jfs.2014.02.007
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:finsta:v:30:y:2017:i:c:p:67-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ghosh, Amit, 2016. "How does banking sector globalization affect banking crisis?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, pages 70-82.
    3. Chen, Minghua & Wu, Ji & Jeon, Bang Nam & Wang, Rui, 2017. "Do foreign banks take more risk? Evidence from emerging economies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 20-39.
    4. repec:eee:riibaf:v:41:y:2017:i:c:p:318-335 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Vithessonthi, Chaiporn, 2017. "Capital investment and internationalization," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, pages 31-48.
    6. Luo, Yun & Tanna, Sailesh & De Vita, Glauco, 2016. "Financial openness, risk and bank efficiency: Cross-country evidence," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, pages 132-148.
    7. Canan Yildirim & Georgios Efthyvoulou, 2016. "Bank Value and Geographic Diversification: Regional vs Global," Working Papers 2016001, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    8. Claudia Curi & Maurizio Murgia, 2017. "Divestitures and the financial conglomerate excess value," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS43, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Banks; Risk; Multinational banking; Economic integration; Market structure;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F36 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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