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Mr. Tigran Poghosyan
This paper assesses the effectiveness of lending restriction measures, such as loan-to-value and debt-service-to-income ratios, in affecting developments in house prices and credit. We use data on 99 lending standard restrictions implemented in 28 EU countries over 1990–2018. The results suggest that lending restriction measures are generally effective in curbing house prices and credit. However, the impact is delayed and reaches its peak only after three years. In addition, the impact is asymmetric, with tightening measures having weaker association with target variables compared to loosening measures. The association is stronger in countries outside of euro area and for legally-binding measures and measures involving sanctions. The results have practical implications for macroprudential authorities.
Deniz Anginer, Mr. Eugenio M Cerutti, and Mr. Maria Soledad Martinez Peria
This paper examines the association between the default risk of foreign bank subsidiaries in developing countries and their parents during the global financial crisis, with the purpose of determining the size and sign of this correlation and, more importantly, understanding what factors can help insulate affiliates from their parents. We find evidence of a significant and robust positive correlation between parent banks’ and foreign subsidiaries’ default risk. This correlation is lower for subsidiaries that have a higher share of retail deposit funding and that are more independently managed from their parents. Host country bank regulations also influence the extent to which shocks to the parents affect the subsidiaries’ default risk. In particular, the correlation between the default risk of subsidiaries and their parents is lower for subsidiaries operating in countries that impose higher capital, reserve, provisioning, and disclosure requirements, and tougher restrictions on bank activities.
Mr. Serkan Arslanalp and Mr. Takahiro Tsuda
This paper proposes an approach to track US$1 trillion of emerging market government debt held by foreign investors in local and hard currency, based on a similar approach that was used for advanced economies (Arslanalp and Tsuda, 2012). The estimates are constructed on a quarterly basis from 2004 to mid-2013 and are available along with the paper in an online dataset. We estimate that about half a trillion dollars of foreign flows went into emerging market government debt during 2010–12, mostly coming from foreign asset managers. Foreign central bank holdings have risen as well, but remain concentrated in a few countries: Brazil, China, Indonesia, Poland, Malaysia, Mexico, and South Africa. We also find that foreign investor flows to emerging markets were less differentiated during 2010–12 against the background of near-zero interest rates in advanced economies. The paper extends some of the indicators proposed in our earlier paper to show how the investor base data can be used to assess countries’ sensitivity to external funding shocks and to track foreign investors’ exposures to different markets within a global benchmark portfolio.
Mr. Eugenio M Cerutti and Mr. Christian Schmieder
The recent crisis has spurred the use of stress tests as a (crisis) management and early warning tool. However, a weakness is that they omit potential risks embedded in the banking groups’ geographical structures by assuming that capital and liquidity are available wherever they are needed within the group. This assumption neglects the fact that regulations differ across countries (e.g., minimum capital requirements), and, more importantly, that home/host regulators might limit flows of capital or liquidity within a group during periods of stress. This study presents a framework on how to integrate this risk element into stress tests, and provides illustrative calculations on the size of the potential adjustments needed in the presence of some limits on intragroup flows for banks included in the June 2011 EBA stress tests.
Ms. Emilia M Jurzyk and Olena Havrylchyk
Using a combination of propensity score matching and difference-in-difference techniques we investigate the impact of foreign bank ownership on the performance and market power of acquired banks operating in Central and Eastern Europe. This approach allows us to control for selection bias as larger but less profitable banks were more likely to be acquired by foreign investors. We show that during three years after the takeover, banks have become more profitable due to cost minimization and better risk management. They have additionally gained market share, because they passed their lower cost of funds to borrowers in terms of lower lending rates. Previous studies failed to pick up the improvements in performance of takeover banks, because they did not account for the performance of financial institutions before acquisitions.
Neeltje van Horen and Mr. Stijn Claessens
Studying a large number of banks in various countries between 1999 and 2006, we document that foreign banks perform better when from a high income country, when host country competition is limited, and when they are large and rely more on deposits for funding. Foreign banks' performance improves over time, possibly as they adapt, and is better when the home country is geographical or cultural (but not institutional) close to the host country. These findings show the importance of controlling for heterogeneity among foreign banks and help reconcile some contradictory results found in the literature on foreign banks' performance.
Sylwester Kozak, Ms. Emilia M Jurzyk, Hans Degryse, and Olena Havrylchyk
We employ a unique data set containing bank-specific information to explore how foreign bank entry determines credit allocation in emerging markets. We investigate the impact of the mode of foreign entry (greenfield or takeover) on banks' portfolio allocation to borrowers with different degrees of informational transparency, as well as by maturities and currencies. The impact of foreign entry on credit allocation may stem from the superior performance of foreign entrants ("performance hypothesis"), or reflect borrower informational capture ("portfolio composition hypothesis"). Our results are broadly in line with the portfolio composition hypothesis, showing that borrower informational capture determines bank credit allocation.m
Ms. Silvia Sgherri and Mr. Alessandro Galesi
The recent financial crisis raises important issues about the transmission of financial shocks across borders. In this paper, a global vector autoregressive (GVAR) model is constructed to assess the relevance of international spillovers following a historical slowdown in U.S. equity prices. The GVAR model contains 27 country-specific models, including the United States, 17 European advanced economies, and 9 European emerging economies. Each country model is linked to the others by a set of country-specific foreign variables, computed using bilateral bank lending exposures. Results reveal considerable comovements of equity prices across mature financial markets. However, the effects on credit growth are found to be country-specific. Evidence indicates that asset prices are the main channel through which-in the short run-financial shocks are transmitted internationally, while the contribution of other variables-like the cost and quantity of credit-becomes more important over longer horizons.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix analyzes the reasons behind the relatively low rates of savings in Bulgaria and prospects for their evolution over the medium term. The paper argues that low saving rates largely reflect the current stage of transition—characterized by still low income levels, incomplete structural reforms, the memories of the financial and banking crises of 1996–97, and an adverse demographic structure. An analysis of prospective saving rates indicates that as the transition process advances, saving rates may increase by 5 percentage points over the medium term.
Mr. G. G. Johnson and Mr. Richard K. Abrams


During the 1970s, international lending by banks came to play a dominant role in the flow of international finance. In the early 1980s, banks have continued to play a major role, but the recent evidence of strains in international banking has raised questions about the prospects for continuity of international intermediation by banks.