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Investing In The Financial Sector Of Emerging Countries: Potential Risk And How To Manage Them

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The purpose of this article is to assess how the changing operations of international banks in emerging countries in the last decades have altered the risks they face as well as their mitigation techniques. The recent expansion of the international banking business through the setup of branches and subsidiaries has increased business potential, but has also changed the nature of the risks faced. Nevertheless, it is hard to determine whether risks, on the whole, are larger now than when cross- border operations were the main instrument for international banks’ activity. In addition, the article describes the various channels through which the risks faced by banks operating in emerging countries increase in times of crisis, especially when operating locally and in highly dollarized host countries, as shown in the latest crisis events. While the financial independence of subsidiaries may be considered an important tool of risk control, the possibilities to mitigate risks in local markets during times of crisis are generally scarce. This could be due to the relatively recent expansion of foreign banks’ local operations in emerging countries, as compared to the cross-border business, together with the relative underdevelopment of local financial markets, or perhaps to the nature of the local business itself.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series International Finance with number 0404015.

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Length: 15 pages
Date of creation: 29 Apr 2004
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpif:0404015
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 15
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  1. Alicia García Herrero & Javier Santillán & Sonsoles Gallego & Lucía Cuadro & Carlos Egea, 2002. "Latin American Financial Development in Perspective," Working Papers 0216, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  2. Clarke, George & Cull, Robert & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad & Sanchez, Susana M., 2001. "Foreign bank entry - experience, implications for developing countries, and agenda for further research," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2698, The World Bank.
  3. Van Rijckeghem, Caroline & Weder, Beatrice, 2001. "Sources of contagion: is it finance or trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 293-308, August.
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