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Currency Matters: Analyzing International Bond Portfolios

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  • John D. Burger
  • Francis E. Warnock
  • Veronica Cacdac Warnock

Abstract

Currency denomination is a prominent feature in the analysis of the structure of international bond markets, but is largely absent from analyses of cross-border investment in debt securities. This omission owes in part to the limitations of widely used datasets such as the IMF’s CPIS data (on positions) and its BOP data (on flows): Neither identifies the currency denomination of the underlying bonds and both combine bonds of various currencies in a single data point. In this paper we show that bonds denominated in the investor’s currency are special. We show this indirectly in a global dataset of bilateral bond holdings—indirectly because the global holdings dataset does not differentiate by currency denomination—and then more directly in datasets of US holdings of foreign bonds that do differentiate by currency. We find that the share of a country’s bonds denominated in investors’ currencies is an important determinant of the amount of cross-border investment it receives; factors associated with greater (or less) cross-border investment in bonds differ by currency denomination; and one phenomenon of international portfolios—the ever-present home bias—in some cases actually disappears when bonds are denominated in the investor’s currency, suggesting that the home bias is to some extent a home currency bias.

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  • John D. Burger & Francis E. Warnock & Veronica Cacdac Warnock, 2017. "Currency Matters: Analyzing International Bond Portfolios," NBER Working Papers 23175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23175
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    2. Belke, Ansgar & Volz, Ulrich, 2018. "Capital flows to emerging market and developing economies: global liquidity and uncertainty versus country-specific pull factors," Discussion Papers 23/2018, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE).
    3. Burger, John D. & Warnock, Francis E. & Warnock, Veronica Cacdac, 2018. "Currency matters: Analyzing international bond portfolios," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 376-388.
    4. de Haan, Leo & Vermeulen, Robert, 2021. "Sovereign debt ratings and the country composition of cross-border holdings of euro area sovereign debt," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 119(C).
    5. Eugenia Andreasen & Martin Schindler & Patricio Valenzuela, 2019. "Capital Controls and the Cost of Debt," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 67(2), pages 288-314, June.
    6. Galstyan, Vahagn & Mehigan, Caroline & Mercado, Rogelio, 2020. "The currency composition of international portfolio assets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 103(C).
    7. Mr. Sakai Ando, 2019. "International Financial Connection and Stock Return Comovement," IMF Working Papers 2019/181, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Liao, Gordon Y., 2020. "Credit migration and covered interest rate parity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(2), pages 504-525.
    9. Martijn Boermans & John Burger, 2020. "Global and local currency effects on euro area investment in emerging market bonds," DNB Working Papers 676, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    10. Opie, Wei & Riddiough, Steven J., 2020. "Global currency hedging with common risk factors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(3), pages 780-805.
    11. Facundo Abraham & Juan J. Cortina & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2020. "The Expansion of Corporate Bond Markets in East Asia and Latin America," Documentos de Trabajo LACEA 018594, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA.
    12. Abraham, Facundo & Cortina, Juan J. & Schmukler, Sergio L., 2021. "The rise of domestic capital markets for corporate financing: Lessons from East Asia," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    13. Ogrokhina, Olena & Rodriguez, Cesar M., 2019. "The effect of inflation targeting and financial openness on currency composition of sovereign international debt," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 1-18.
    14. Martijn Boermans & Robert Vermeulen, 2018. "Quantitative easing and preferred habitat investors in the euro area bond market," DNB Working Papers 586, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

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