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International Diversification Gains and Home Bias in Banking

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  • Alicia García-Herrero
  • Francisco F. Vazquez

Abstract

This paper assembles a bank-level dataset covering the operations of 38 international banks from eight industrial countries and their subsidiaries overseas during 1995-2004, and studies the extent of diversification gains from their local operations abroad. The paper finds that international banks with a larger share of assets allocated to foreign subsidiaries, particularly to those located in emerging market countries, are able to attain higher risk-adjusted returns. These gains are somewhat reduced- but by no means depleted-when international banks concentrate their subsidiaries in specific geographical regions. The paper also finds a substantial home bias in the international allocation of bank assets, relative to the results of a mean-variance portfolio optimization model. Overall, international diversification gains in banking appear to be substantial, albeit largely unexploited by current bank expansion strategies. These results suggest that international diversification gains could usefully be considered in the second pillar of Basel II as the first pillar is based only on the idiosyncratic risk of recipient countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Alicia García-Herrero & Francisco F. Vazquez, 2007. "International Diversification Gains and Home Bias in Banking," IMF Working Papers 07/281, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/281
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lessard, Donald R, 1973. "International Portfolio Diversification: A Multivariate Analysis for a Group of Latin American Countries," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 28(3), pages 619-633, June.
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    4. Claudia M. Buch & John C. Driscoll & Charlotte Ostergaard, 2010. "Cross-Border Diversification in Bank Asset Portfolios," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 79-108, March.
    5. Viral V. Acharya & Iftekhar Hasan & Anthony Saunders, 2002. "The effects of focus and diversification on bank risk and return: evidence from individual bank loan portfolios," Proceedings 905, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    6. Levy, Haim & Sarnat, Marshall, 1970. "International Diversification of Investment Portfolios," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(4), pages 668-675, September.
    7. French, Kenneth R & Poterba, James M, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 222-226, May.
    8. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
    9. Harry Markowitz, 1952. "Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 7(1), pages 77-91, March.
    10. Barth, James R. & Caprio, Gerard Jr. & Levine, Ross, 2004. "Bank regulation and supervision: what works best?," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 205-248, April.
    11. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nicola Cetorelli & Linda S. Goldberg, 2008. "Banking globalization, monetary transmission, and the lending channel," Staff Reports 333, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    2. García-Herrero, Alicia & Gavilá, Sergio & Santabárbara, Daniel, 2009. "What explains the low profitability of Chinese banks?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 2080-2092, November.
    3. Markus Leibrecht & Johann Scharler, 2012. "Banks, Financial Markets and International Consumption Risk Sharing," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13(3), pages 331-351, August.
    4. Lasse Steiner & Bruno S. Frey & Magnus Resch, 2013. "Home is where your art is: the home bias of art collectors," ECON - Working Papers 135, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    5. Vazquez, Francisco & Federico, Pablo, 2015. "Bank funding structures and risk: Evidence from the global financial crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1-14.
    6. Eric van Wincoop, 2013. "International Contagion through Leveraged Financial Institutions," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 152-189, July.
    7. Georgiadis, Georgios, 2014. "Towards an explanation of cross-country asymmetries in monetary transmission," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 66-84.
    8. Bertay, A.C. & Demirgüc-Kunt, A. & Huizinga, H.P., 2011. "Is the Financial Safety Net a Barrier to Cross-Border Banking?," Discussion Paper 2011-132, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    9. Fang, Yiwei & van Lelyveld, Iman, 2014. "Geographic diversification in banking," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 172-181.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Emerging markets; Bank regulations; Bonds; International banking; home bias; portfolio diversification; Basel II; international banks; subsidiaries; financial statements; money market;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General

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