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The Agency of CoCos: Why Contingent Convertible Bonds Aren't for Everyone

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  • Goncharenko, Roman
  • Ongena, Steven
  • Rauf, Asad

Abstract

Most regulators grant contingent convertible bonds (CoCos) the status of equity. The theory, however, suggests that these securities can distort incentives via inducing debt overhang and risk shifting. In this paper, we therefore theoretically model how the degree of this distortion varies with bank risk. Our model predicts that riskier banks face higher debt overhang from CoCos. Next, analyzing a comprehensive database of CoCo issuance in Europe, we empirically test the predictions of our model. We find that banks with lower risk are more likely to issue CoCos than their riskier counterparts. Since in the current regulatory framework of Basel III banks are expected to raise equity prior to CoCo conversion, future debt overhang makes CoCos an expensive source of capital. Thus, riskier banks will opt for equity issuance over CoCos.

Suggested Citation

  • Goncharenko, Roman & Ongena, Steven & Rauf, Asad, 2018. "The Agency of CoCos: Why Contingent Convertible Bonds Aren't for Everyone," CEPR Discussion Papers 13344, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13344
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    2. Mahmoud Fatouh & Ioana Neamtu & Sweder van Wijnbergen, 2022. "Risk-Taking, Competition and Uncertainty: Do Contingent Convertible (CoCo) Bonds Increase the Risk Appetite of Banks?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 22-017/IV, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Ambrocio, Gene & Hasan, Iftekhar & Jokivuolle, Esa & Ristolainen, Kim, 2020. "Are bank capital requirements optimally set? Evidence from researchers’ views," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 50(C).
    4. Raviv, Alon & Hilscher, Jens & Peleg Lazar, Sharon, 2021. "Designing bankers' pay: Using contingent capital to reduce risk-shifting," MPRA Paper 106596, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Pierluigi Bologna & Arianna Miglietta & Anatoli Segura, 2020. "Contagion in the CoCos Market? A Case Study of Two Stress Events," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 16(6), pages 137-184, December.
    6. Michael Sigmund & Kevin Zimmermann, 2021. "Determinants of Contingent Convertible Bond Coupon Rates of Banks: An Empirical Analysis (Michael Sigmund, Kevin Zimmermann)," Working Papers 236, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    7. Fatouh, Mahmoud & Neamțu, Ioana & van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 2021. "Risk-taking and uncertainty: do contingent convertible (CoCo) bonds increase the risk appetite of banks?," Bank of England working papers 938, Bank of England.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bank Capital Structure; Basel III; CoCos; Contingent Convertible Bonds; Debt overhang;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises

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