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Foreign Currency Loans - Demand or Supply Driven?

  • Martin Brown
  • Karolin Kirschenmann
  • Steven Ongena

Motivated by concerns over foreign currency exposures of banks in Emerging Europe, we examine the currency denomination of business loans made in Bulgaria during the period 2003-2007. We analyze a unique dataset including information on the requested and granted currency for more than hundred thousand loans granted by one bank to sixty thousand different firms. This data set allows us to disentangle demand-side from supply-side determinants of foreign currency loans. We find that 32% of the foreign currency loans disbursed in our sample were actually requested in local currency by the firm. Our analysis suggests that the bank lends in foreign currency, not only to less risky firms, but also when the firm requests a long-term loan and when the bank itself has more funding in euro. These results imply that foreign currency borrowing in Eastern Europe is not only driven by borrowers who try to benefit from lower interest rates but also by banks hesitant to lend longterm in local currency and eager to match the currency structure of their assets and liabilities.

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Paper provided by Swiss National Bank in its series Working Papers with number 2011-02.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:snb:snbwpa:2011-02
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  1. Christian Beer & Steven Ongena & Marcel Peter, 2008. "Borrowing in Foreign Currency: Austrian Households as Carry Traders," Working Papers 2008-19, Swiss National Bank.
  2. Benavente, Jose Miguel & Johnson, Christian A. & Morande, Felipe G., 2003. "Debt composition and balance sheet effects of exchange rate depreciations: a firm-level analysis for Chile," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 397-416, December.
  3. Martin Brown & Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano, 2008. "Information Sharing and Credit: Firm-Level Evidence from Transition Countries," Discussion Papers 3_2008, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
  4. Basso, Henrique S. & Calvo-Gonzalez, Oscar & Jurgilas, Marius, 2007. "Financial dollarization: the role of banks and interest rates," Working Paper Series 0748, European Central Bank.
  5. Martin Brown & Steven Ongena & Pinar Yesin, 2009. "Foreign Currency Borrowing by Small Firms," Working Papers 2009-02, Swiss National Bank.
  6. Durbin, Erik & Ng, David, 2005. "The sovereign ceiling and emerging market corporate bond spreads," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 631-649, June.
  7. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  8. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann, 1999. "Exchange Rates and Financial Fragility," NBER Working Papers 7418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hausmann, Ricardo & Panizza, Ugo, 2003. "On the determinants of Original Sin: an empirical investigation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 957-990, December.
  10. Kevin Cowan & Erwin Hansen & Luis Oscar Herrera, 2005. "Currency Mismatches, Balance-Sheet Effects and Hedging in Chilean Non-Financial Corporations," Research Department Publications 4387, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  11. Nicolo, Gianni De & Honohan, Patrick & Ize, Alain, 2005. "Dollarization of bank deposits: Causes and consequences," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1697-1727, July.
  12. Gaston Gelos, R., 2003. "Foreign currency debt in emerging markets: firm-level evidence from Mexico," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 323-327, March.
  13. Fenghua Song & Anjan V. Thakor, 2007. "Relationship Banking, Fragility, and the Asset-Liability Matching Problem," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(6), pages 2129-2177, November.
  14. Martinez, Lorenza & Werner, Alejandro, 2002. "The exchange rate regime and the currency composition of corporate debt: the Mexican experience," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 315-334, December.
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