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How Do Investors and Firms React to an Unexpected Currency Appreciation Shock?

Author

Listed:
  • Matthias EFING

    (University of Geneva and Swiss Finance Institute (PhD Program))

  • Rüdiger FAHLENBRACH

    (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and Swiss Finance Institute)

  • Christoph HERPFER

    (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and Swiss Finance Institute (PhD Program))

  • Philipp KRÜGER

    (University of Geneva and Swiss Finance Institute)

Abstract

The Swiss National Bank surprisingly announced in January 2015 that it would no longer hold the Swiss franc at a fixed exchange rate of 1.2 Swiss francs per Euro, a peg it had defended for more than three years. The Swiss franc appreciated by approximately 15% immediately after the announcement. We exploit the removal of the currency peg to study how investors and firms respond to exogenous foreign currency shocks. We find large negative announcement returns for Swiss firms with significant foreign currency exposure. Affected firms experience a drop in profitability and react by reducing capital expenditures and moving production abroad.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias EFING & Rüdiger FAHLENBRACH & Christoph HERPFER & Philipp KRÜGER, 2015. "How Do Investors and Firms React to an Unexpected Currency Appreciation Shock?," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 15-65, Swiss Finance Institute, revised Jan 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:chf:rpseri:rp1565
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Barthélémy Bonadio & Andreas M Fischer & Philip Sauré, 2020. "The Speed of Exchange Rate Pass-Through," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 506-538.
    2. Raphael Auer & Ariel Burstein & Sarah M. Lein, 2021. "Exchange Rates and Prices: Evidence from the 2015 Swiss Franc Appreciation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 111(2), pages 652-686, February.
    3. Harald Hau & Yi Huang & Gewei Wang, 2020. "Firm Response to Competitive Shocks: Evidence from China’s Minimum Wage Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(6), pages 2639-2671.
    4. Dibiasi, Andreas & Abberger, Klaus & Siegenthaler, Michael & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2018. "The effects of policy uncertainty on investment: Evidence from the unexpected acceptance of a far-reaching referendum in Switzerland," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 38-67.
    5. Raphael Auer & Ariel Burstein & Katharina Erhardt & Sarah M. Lein, 2019. "Exports and Invoicing: Evidence from the 2015 Swiss Franc Appreciation," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 109, pages 533-538, May.
    6. Daniel Kaufmann & Tobias Renkin, 2019. "Export Prices, Markups, and Currency Choice after a Large Appreciation," IRENE Working Papers 19-07, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.

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