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Credit Risk Spreads in Local and Foreign Currencies


  • Zvi Wiener
  • Dan Galai


The paper shows how-in a Merton-type model with bankruptcy-the currency composition of debt changes the risk profile of a company raising a given amount of financing, and thus affects the cost of debt. Foreign currency borrowing is cheaper when the exchange rate is positively correlated with the return on the company's assets, even if the company is not an exporter. Prudential regulations should therefore differentiate among loans depending on the extent to which borrowers have "natural hedges" of their foreign currency exposures.

Suggested Citation

  • Zvi Wiener & Dan Galai, 2009. "Credit Risk Spreads in Local and Foreign Currencies," IMF Working Papers 09/110, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:09/110

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Merton, Robert C., 1977. "On the pricing of contingent claims and the Modigliani-Miller theorem," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 241-249, November.
    2. Darrell Duffie & Lasse Heje Pedersen & Kenneth J. Singleton, 2003. "Modeling Sovereign Yield Spreads: A Case Study of Russian Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(1), pages 119-159, February.
    3. Andre O Santos & Jorge A Chan-Lau, 2006. "Currency Mismatches and Corporate Default Risk; Modeling, Measurement, and Surveillance Applications," IMF Working Papers 06/269, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 155-178, February.
    5. Merton, Robert C, 1974. "On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-470, May.
    6. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz, 1981. "Debt with Potential Repudiation: Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 289-309.
    7. Bennett W Sutton & Luis Catão, 2002. "Sovereign Defaults; The Role of Volatility," IMF Working Papers 02/149, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Francis A. Longstaff & Jun Pan & Lasse H. Pedersen & Kenneth J. Singleton, 2011. "How Sovereign Is Sovereign Credit Risk?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 75-103, April.
    9. Diaz Weigel, Diana & Gemmill, Gordon, 2006. "What drives credit risk in emerging markets? The roles of country fundamentals and market co-movements," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 476-502, April.
    10. Jens Hilscher & Yves Nosbusch, 2010. "Determinants of Sovereign Risk: Macroeconomic Fundamentals and the Pricing of Sovereign Debt," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 14(2), pages 235-262.
    11. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-654, May-June.
    12. Jorion, Philippe, 1990. "The Exchange-Rate Exposure of U.S. Multinationals," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(3), pages 331-345, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Works, Richard Floyd, 2016. "Econometric modeling of exchange rate determinants by market classification: An empirical analysis of Japan and South Korea using the sticky-price monetary theory," MPRA Paper 76382, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. de Haas, R. & Brown, M. & Sokolov, V., 2015. "Regional Inflation, Financial Integration and Dollarization (This is a revision of CentER DP 2013-073)," Discussion Paper 2015-012, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    3. Han-Hsing Lee & Kuanyu Shih & Kehluh Wang, 2016. "Measuring sovereign credit risk using a structural model approach," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 47(4), pages 1097-1128, November.
    4. Brown, Martin & De Haas, Ralph & Sokolov, Vladimir, 2013. "Regional Inflation and Financial Dollarization," Working Papers on Finance 1327, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
    5. Clark, Ephraim & Kassimatis, Konstantinos, 2015. "Macroeconomic effects on emerging-markets sovereign credit spreads," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 1-13.
    6. Miloš Božović & Branko Urošević & Boško Živković, 2009. "On The Spillover Of Exchangerate Risk Into Default Risk," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, vol. 54(183), pages 32-55, October -.
    7. repec:ebd:wpaper:163 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:spr:annopr:v:262:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10479-015-1975-5 is not listed on IDEAS


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