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 identify global and regional fluctuations in international private debt flows to emerging and developing countries using data on cross border loans and international bond issuance over 1993 -2009. We estimate the effects of individual borrower characteristics as well as macroeconomic conditions on the cost of foreign borrowing and test whether these effects differ across phases of the lending cycle. We find that public and financial institutions benefit from lower spreads compared to private and nonfinancial firms and that lenders may differentiate the risk associated with the borrower's industrial sector between good and bad times. The loan (bond) rating has an equally robust spread reduction effect across credit cycle phases. The results also suggest that international reserve holdings and investment ratios have a significant effect on reducing credit spreads for loans, while higher reserve holdings and longer maturities matter more for bond spreads.