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 examine risk spreads charged on corporate bonds placed by emerging market borrowers on international exchanges. While global developments have an important effect on spreads, changes in firm-level default risk also matter significantly in a way consistent with theory and experience in mature markets. In contrast, except during periods of financial crisis, country factors play a limited role. These findings go against the supposition that limited information on emerging market firms or significant agency problems prevent firm-level credit discrimination by international investors. The firm-level information capitalization into spreads possibly reflects protection afforded by the exchange listing on international markets.