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Shareholder diversification and bank risk-taking

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  • García-Kuhnert, Yamileh
  • Marchica, Maria-Teresa
  • Mura, Roberto

Abstract

Using the entire universe of Bankscope and Amadeus Top 250,000 we construct the portfolios of shareholders who hold equity stakes in publicly traded and privately held European banks for each year over the period 1999–2008. We show that about 62% of banks’ ultimate largest shareholders are diversified investors, holding on average equity investments from thirteen companies in their portfolio. We exploit this heterogeneity to investigate the impact of their portfolio diversification on bank risk-taking. Our results show that banks with more diversified shareholders undertake more risks. This relation is both statistically significant and economically sizeable. Overall, these findings contribute to the literature by studying for the first time a specific channel through which financial development, in the form of bank shareholders’ diversification, affects the banks’ risk-taking decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • García-Kuhnert, Yamileh & Marchica, Maria-Teresa & Mura, Roberto, 2015. "Shareholder diversification and bank risk-taking," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 602-635.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinin:v:24:y:2015:i:4:p:602-635
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfi.2015.03.001
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