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Cross-Border Trading as a Mechanism for Capital Flight: ADRs and the Argentine Crisis

  • Sebastian Auguste
  • Kathryn M.E. Dominguez
  • Herman Kamil
  • Linda L. Tesar

This paper examines the surprising performance of the Argentine stock market in the midst of the country's most recent financial crisis and the role played by ADRs in Argentine capital flight. Although Argentine investors were subject to capital controls, they were able to purchase stocks with associated ADRs for pesos in Argentina, convert them into ADRs, re-sell them in New York for dollars and deposit the dollar proceeds in U.S. bank accounts. In the paper we show that: (1) ADR discounts went as high as 60% (indicating that Argentine investors were willing to pay significant amounts in order to legally move their funds abroad), (2) the market anticipated (correctly) a 40% devaluation, (3) local market factors in Argentina became more important in pricing peso denominated stocks with associated ADRs, while the same stocks in New York were mainly priced based on global factors, (4) capital outflow using the ADR market was substantial (our estimate is between $835 million and $3.4 billion)

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9343.

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Date of creation: Nov 2002
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Publication status: published as Journal of Monetary Economics, 53, 2006, 1259-1295
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9343
Note: IFM
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  1. Alan G. Ahearne & William L. Griever & Francis E. Warnock, 2000. "Information costs and home bias: an analysis of U.S. holdings of foreign equities," International Finance Discussion Papers 691, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  8. Melvin, Michael, 2003. "A stock market boom during a financial crisis?: ADRs and capital outflows in Argentina," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 129-136, October.
  9. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Ernesto Talvi, 2003. "Sudden Stops, the Real Exchange Rate, and Fiscal Sustainability: Argentina's Lessons," NBER Working Papers 9828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Errunza, Vihang & Losq, Etienne, 1985. " International Asset Pricing under Mild Segmentation: Theory and Test," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(1), pages 105-24, March.
  11. Karolyi, G. Andrew & Stulz, Rene M., 2003. "Are financial assets priced locally or globally?," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 975-1020 Elsevier.
  12. Alexander, Gordon J & Eun, Cheol S & Janakiramanan, S, 1987. " Asset Pricing and Dual Listing on Foreign Capital Markets: A Note," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(1), pages 151-58, March.
  13. Christine X. Jiang, 1998. "Diversification with American Depository Receipts: The Dynamics and the Pricing Factors," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(5&6), pages 683-699.
  14. Kim, Minho & Szakmary, Andrew C. & Mathur, Ike, 2000. "Price transmission dynamics between ADRs and their underlying foreign securities," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(8), pages 1359-1382, August.
  15. Scholes, Myron & Williams, Joseph, 1977. "Estimating betas from nonsynchronous data," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 309-327, December.
  16. Feldstein, Martin, 2002. "Argentina's Fall: Lessons from the Latest Financial Crisis," Scholarly Articles 2959849, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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