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A Leading Indicator Model of Banking Distress ¡V Developing an Early Warning System for Hong Kong and Other EMEAP Economies


  • Jim Wong

    (Research Department, Hong Kong Monetary Authority)

  • Eric Wong

    (Research Department, Hong Kong Monetary Authority)

  • Phyllis Leung

    (Research Department, Hong Kong Monetary Authority)


This study develops a probit econometric model to identify a set of leading indicators of banking distress and estimate banking distress probability for Hong Kong and other EMEAP economies. Macroeconomic fundamentals, currency crisis vulnerability, credit risk of banks and companies, asset price bubbles, credit growth, and the occurrence of distress of other economies in the region are found to be important leading indicators of banking distress in the home economy. The predictive power of the model is reasonably good. A case study of Hong Kong based on the latest estimate of banking distress probability and stress testing results shows that currently the banking sector in Hong Kong is healthy and should be able to withstand well certain possible adverse shocks. Under some extreme shocks originating from real GDP growth and property prices such as those that occurred during the Asian financial crisis, the model indicates a non-negligible risk of an occurrence of banking distress in Hong Kong. However, the chances of the occurrence of such severe events are extremely low. Simulation results also suggest that compared to the period before the Asian financial crisis, the local banking sector is currently more capable of withstanding shocks similar to those that occurred during that crisis. The study also finds that banking distress is contagious, suggesting that to be effective in monitoring banking distress, close cooperation between central banks should be in place.

Suggested Citation

  • Jim Wong & Eric Wong & Phyllis Leung, 2007. "A Leading Indicator Model of Banking Distress ¡V Developing an Early Warning System for Hong Kong and Other EMEAP Economies," Working Papers 0722, Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
  • Handle: RePEc:hkg:wpaper:0722

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cashin, Paul & Cespedes, Luis F. & Sahay, Ratna, 2004. "Commodity currencies and the real exchange rate," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 239-268, October.
    2. Chinn, Menzie D. & Prasad, Eswar S., 2003. "Medium-term determinants of current accounts in industrial and developing countries: an empirical exploration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 47-76, January.
    3. Ghosh, Atish R. & Ostry, Jonathan D., 1997. "Macroeconomic uncertainty, precautionary saving, and the current account," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 121-139, September.
    4. Sebastian Edwards, 1995. "Why are Saving Rates so Different Across Countries?: An International Comparative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Frank Leung, 2006. "Structural Determinants of Hong Kong's Current Account Surplus," Working Papers 0614, Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
    6. G. Russell Kincaid & Martin Fetherston & Peter Isard & Hamid Faruqee, 2001. "Methodology for Current Account and Exchange Rate Assessments," IMF Occasional Papers 209, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Tamim Bayoumi & Jaewoo Lee & Sarma Jayanthi, 2006. "New Rates from New Weights," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(2), pages 1-4.
    8. Li-gang Liu & Kelvin Fan & Jimmy Shek, 2006. "Hong Kong's Trade Patterns and Trade Elasticities," Working Papers 0618, Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
    9. Ronald Macdonald & Luca Antonio Ricci, 2004. "Estimation Of The Equilibrium Real Exchange Rate For South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 72(2), pages 282-304, June.
    10. Hamid Faruqee & Guy Debelle, 1996. "What Determines the Current Account? a Cross-Sectional and Panel Approach," IMF Working Papers 96/58, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Samitas, Aristeidis & Polyzos, Stathis, 2016. "Freeing Greece from capital controls: Were the restrictions enforced in time?," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 196-213.

    More about this item


    Banking distress; Asia Pacific economies; econometric model;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E47 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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