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Corporate Financial Policies and Performance Around Currency Crises

Using data from 17 countries that have suffered a currency crisis, this paper studies firm-level leverage and performance measures before and after a crisis has occurred. We show that in the years preceding a currency crisis, companies that are expected to benefit from currency depreciations increase their leverage more than companies that are expected to be harmed by currency depreciations. The evidence regarding the profitability and financial fragility ratios is consistent with the leverage results, since companies that are expected to benefit from depreciations fare worse than other companies before a crisis. We also provide evidence that the Asian crisis is different from the previous European and Latin American ones: in Asia firms become more fragile after the crisis and their profitability declines and leverage increases further, whereas in Europe and Latin America there are clear signs of recovery after a crisis has occurred, especially for firms that are ex-ante expected to benefit from depreciations.

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Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 467.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: 17 Oct 2001
Date of revision: 06 Nov 2001
Publication status: Forthcoming in Journal of Business.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0467
Contact details of provider: Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-(0)8-736 90 00
Fax: +46-(0)8-31 01 57
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  17. Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 2000. "Optimal currency crises," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 177-230, December.
  18. Bodnar, Gordon M. & Gentry, William M., 1993. "Exchange rate exposure and industry characteristics: evidence from Canada, Japan, and the USA," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 29-45, February.
  19. Mitton, Todd, 2002. "A cross-firm analysis of the impact of corporate governance on the East Asian financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 215-241, May.
  20. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1996. "The twin crises: the causes of banking and balance-of-payments problems," International Finance Discussion Papers 544, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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