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Do financial conglomerates create or destroy value? Evidence for the EU

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  • Iman van Lelyveld
  • Klaas Knot

Abstract

There is an ongoing debate whether firm focus creates or destroys shareholder value. Earlierliterature has shown significant diversification discounts: firms that engage in multiple activitiesare valued less. Various factors are important in the size of the discount, for example crosssubsidizationand agency problems. The extant literature, however, generally focuses on nonfinancialfirms or traditional banking (cf Laeven and Levine (2007) and Schmid and Walter(2006)). Our paper focuses specifically on the valuation of bank-insurance conglomerates. We findno universal diversification discount but significant variability. Size, complexity and risk seem tobe important determinants.

Suggested Citation

  • Iman van Lelyveld & Klaas Knot, 2008. "Do financial conglomerates create or destroy value? Evidence for the EU," DNB Working Papers 174, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:174
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    financial conglomerates; firm valuation;

    JEL classification:

    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior

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