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Information Asymmetry and Foreign Currency Borrowing by Small Firms

  • Martin Brown

    (University of St Gallen, Rosenbergstrasse 52, St. Gallen 9000, Switzerland.)

  • Steven Ongena

    (CentER – Tilburg University and CEPR, PO Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, Netherlands.)

  • Pinar Yeşin

    (Swiss National Bank, PO Box 2800, 8022 Zurich, Switzerland.)

We model how an information asymmetry between the lending bank and the applying firm about the currency structure of firm revenues may affect loan currency choice. Our framework features a trade-off between the lower cost of foreign currency debt and the costs of currency induced loan default. We show that under imperfect information about firm revenues more local earners choose foreign currency loans, as they do not bear the full cost of the corresponding credit risk. This result is consistent with recent evidence showing that information asymmetries may increase foreign currency borrowing by retail clients in the transition economies.

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Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal Comparative Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 56 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 110-131

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Handle: RePEc:pal:compes:v:56:y:2014:i:1:p:110-131
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