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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 William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number 513.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 01 Nov 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2002-513
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  1. Guillermo A. Calvo & Alejandro Izquierdo & Ernesto Talvi, 2002. "Sudden Stops, the Real Exchange Rate and Fiscal Sustainability: Argentina's Lessons," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6821, Inter-American Development Bank.
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  3. 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.
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  8. 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.
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  11. 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.
  12. Feldstein, Martin, 2002. "Argentina's Fall: Lessons from the Latest Financial Crisis," Scholarly Articles 2959849, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Huang, Roger D. & Stoll, Hans R., 2001. "Exchange rates and firms' liquidity: evidence from ADRs," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 297-325, June.
  14. 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.
  15. Ahearne, Alan G. & Griever, William L. & Warnock, Francis E., 2004. "Information costs and home bias: an analysis of US holdings of foreign equities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 313-336, March.
  16. Domowitz, Ian & Glen, Jack & Madhavan, Ananth, 1997. " Market Segmentation and Stock Prices: Evidence from an Emerging Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1059-85, July.
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