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International diversification and Microfinance

  • Galema, Rients
  • Lensink, Robert
  • Spierdijk, Laura

International commercial banks, institutional investors, and private investors have become increasingly interested in financing microfinance institutions (MFIs). This paper investigates whether adding microfinance funds to a portfolio of risky international assets yields diversification gains. By using mean-variance spanning tests with short-sale constraints, we find that investing in microfinance may be attractive for investors seeking a better risk-return profile. Specifically, the analysis suggests that investing in MFIs from Latin America, or microfinance and rural banks yields more efficient portfolios. In contrast, adding MFIs from Africa or microfinance NGOs to a portfolio of international assets is not beneficial for a mean-variance investor.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Money and Finance.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 507-515

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:30:y:2011:i:3:p:507-515
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30443

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  1. Nijman, T.E. & de Roon, F.A., 2001. "Testing for mean-variance spanning : A survey," Other publications TiSEM 0159f80a-c61b-4519-b004-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  2. Moerman, Gerard A., 2008. "Diversification in euro area stock markets: Country versus industry," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1122-1134, November.
  3. Nicolas Krauss & Ingo Walter, 2009. "Can Microfinance Reduce Portfolio Volatility?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(1), pages 85-110, October.
  4. Nijman, T.E. & de Roon, F.A. & Werker, B.J.M., 2001. "Testing for Mean-Variance spanning with short sales constraints and transaction costs : The case of emerging markets," Other publications TiSEM f4a3551a-d7ae-4c22-8813-b, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  5. DeRoon, Frans A. & Nijman, Theo E., 2001. "Testing for mean-variance spanning: a survey," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 111-155, May.
  6. Granger, Clive W.J., 1998. "Extracting Information from Mega-Panels and High-Frequency Data," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt17t2d9n6, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  7. Gourieroux, Christian & Holly, Alberto & Monfort, Alain, 1982. "Likelihood Ratio Test, Wald Test, and Kuhn-Tucker Test in Linear Models with Inequality Constraints on the Regression Parameters," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 63-80, January.
  8. Bekaert, Geert & Urias, Michael S, 1996. " Diversification, Integration and Emerging Market Closed-End Funds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(3), pages 835-69, July.
  9. Gonzalez, Adrian, 2007. "Resilience of Microfinance Institutions to National Macroeconomic Events: An Econometric Analysis of MFI asset quality," MPRA Paper 4317, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Kodde, David A & Palm, Franz C, 1986. "Wald Criteria for Jointly Testing Equality and Inequality Restriction s," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1243-48, September.
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