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Why are Returns on Swiss Franc Asset so Low?

Author

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  • Kugler, Peter

    () (University of Basel)

  • Weder, Beatrice

Abstract

As is well known, the uncovered interest rate parity fails in the short run but usually holds in the long run. This paper analyses the long and short run interest rate parity of 10 mayor OECD currencies and finds that there is a long run failure of the uncovered interest rate parity condition for the Swiss Franc. After correcting for exchange rate changes, mean returns on Swiss assets have been significantly lower than in other currencies, an anomaly not found in any other major currency. The long run return differential has been stable over the last 20 years, transitory structural breaks are only found in times of currency turmoil. We suggest that the return anomaly may be due to an insurance premium against very rare catastrophic events, such as a major war. Supporting evidence for this hypothesis comes from two empirical findings: First, we show that the return differential is negatively affected by large unexpected geo-political events. Second we examine historical data on interest rates differentials and show that the abnormally low level of Swiss returns arises after the first world war only.

Suggested Citation

  • Kugler, Peter & Weder, Beatrice, 2005. "Why are Returns on Swiss Franc Asset so Low?," Working papers 2005/08, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2005/08
    as

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    File URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/61259/1/20180305121454_5a9d26ae1bfd4.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 1998. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 47-78, January.
    2. Peter Kugler & Beatrice Weder, 2004. "International Portfolio Holdings and Swiss Franc Asset Returns," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 140(III), pages 301-325, September.
    3. Philippe Jorion & William N. Goetzmann, 1999. "Global Stock Markets in the Twentieth Century," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 953-980, June.
    4. Peter Kugler & Beatrice Weder, 2004. "International Portfolio Holdings and Swiss Franc Asset Returns," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 140(III), pages 301-325, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kleiber Christian & Zeileis Achim, 2013. "Reproducible Econometric Simulations," Journal of Econometric Methods, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 89-99, July.
    2. Mathias Hoffmann & Rahel Suter, 2010. "The Swiss Franc Exchange Rate and Deviations from Uncovered Interest Parity: Global vs Domestic Factors," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 146(I), pages 349-371, March.
    3. Kevin Ross & Tommaso Mancini Griffoli, 2010. "Discussion: The Swiss Franc Exchange Rate and Deviations from Uncovered Interest Parity: Global vs Domestic Factors," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 146(I), pages 373-384, March.
    4. Pınar Yeşin, 2017. "Capital Flows and the Swiss Franc," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, Springer;Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics, vol. 153(4), pages 403-436, October.
    5. Lars P. Feld & Ekkehard A. Köhler, 2015. "Is Switzerland an Interest Rate Island after all? Time Series and Non-Linear Switching Regime Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 5628, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Thomas Nitschka, 2014. "The Good? The Bad? The Ugly? Which news drive (co)variation in Swiss and US bond and stock excess returns?," Working Papers 2014-01, Swiss National Bank.
    7. Jean-Pierre Danthine, 2017. "Taux négatifs: made for Switzerland," PSE Working Papers halshs-01571650, HAL.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets

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