The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
We measure bank vulnerability in emerging markets using the distance-to-default, a risk-neutral indicator based on Merton's (1974) structural model of credit risk. The indicator is estimated using equity prices and balance-sheet data for 38 banks in 14 emerging market countries. Results show it can predict a bank's credit deterioration up to nine months in advance. The distance-to-default, hence, may prove useful for bank monitoring purposes.