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Does Distance Affect the Performance of Foreign Banks? Evidence from Multinational Banking in Developing Countries


  • Wu, Ji
  • Jeon, Bang Nam
  • Luca, Alina C.


This paper examines whether the geographic distance between subsidiaries of multinational banks and their headquarters is an important factor in determining the performance of the subsidiaries. Using various performance indicators of 340 subsidiaries in 54 emerging and developing economies from 69 global banks during the years 1994-2008, we find evidence that first, the distance constraint adversely affects loan growth, profitability and performance of foreign bank subsidiaries, and second, the unfavorable information asymmetry faced by foreign banks, due to the distance constraint, in financing foreign clients cannot be fully overcome by establishing their presence abroad such as setting up their foreign subsidiaries. We further examine if the effect of distance is symmetric across different banks and countries, and find the following various economic, financial and institutional factors to affect the strength of distance constraints in the multinational banking activities: the entry mode of foreign banks, the history of presence in local markets, the existence of credit information institutions, the cultural similarity between the home and host markets, financial depth, financial crisis periods, the stock market development, the banking market structure in host markets, and the hierarchy of the subsidiary in the multinational banking conglomerate.

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  • Wu, Ji & Jeon, Bang Nam & Luca, Alina C., 2010. "Does Distance Affect the Performance of Foreign Banks? Evidence from Multinational Banking in Developing Countries," MPRA Paper 37083, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Feb 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:37083

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Multinational banking; distance; foreign bank penetration;

    JEL classification:

    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages


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