Stock market responses to bank restructuring policies during the East Asian crisis
The East Asian crisis began in Thailand in mid-1997 when an ailing financial sector, a slowdown in exports, and large increases in central bank credit to weak financial institutions, triggered a run on the baht. Then the crisis spread to other countries in the region, as common vulnerabilities, and revaluations of risk in emerging markets, triggered large capital flows. To better understand the impact of different policy responses to financial crises, the authors investigate how stock markets in East Asian countries reacted to the initial policy announcements of bank, and financial restructuring - especially how banking, and non-financial sectors in Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand, fared in response to announcements of different restructuring measures. They find that prices of bank stocks, responded positively to announcements about government guarantees of bank liabilities. Non-financial companies gained in value when guarantees were announced, but their stock prices were negatively affected by announcements favoring public re-capitalization schemes, and generous liquidity support programs. Possibly the market was concerned that public funds per se, would not restore the health of the financial sector - that they would not be sufficient, or would not be used to restructure bank balance sheets, and operations, and allow banks to engage in meaningful corporate restructuring. The announcements of increased public support, have been viewed as a signal that the financial institutions were in a financially weaker position than previously thought.
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