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Can mergers in Europe help banks hedge against macroeconomic risk?

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  • Pierre-Guillaume Méon
  • Laurent Weill

Abstract

This paper investigates the motive of geographic risk diversification in the lending activity for bank mergers in the EU on a sample of large banking groups. Geographic diversification should allow banks to reduce their risk. We observe that the loan portfolios of European banks are home-biased. We apply the portfolio approach to explore the risk-return efficiency of the locations of banks’ activities. We also study mergers between pairs of banks. We provide evidence of the sub-optimality of the loan portfolios of European banks in terms of geographic risk diversification, and of the existence of potential gains from inter-country pair mergers.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Laurent Weill, 2005. "Can mergers in Europe help banks hedge against macroeconomic risk?," DULBEA Working Papers in, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:dul:wpaper:05-08rs
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bank mergers; risk diversification; European integration;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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