Cost of sovereign debt and foreign bias in bond allocations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Finance theory suggests that markets where foreign bond portfolio investors overweight their portfolio relative to the prescribed theoretical benchmark should experience higher international risk sharing. Correspondingly, the cost of debt in such markets should be lower compared to markets facing a lower degree of international risk sharing. We empirically examine this prediction using a panel data set of sovereign bond yield spreads and a measure of suboptimal foreign bond portfolio allocations for 50 emerging and ten developed markets. Consistent with theory, our results show higher levels of foreign bond allocations – relative to the theoretical benchmark – are negatively related to the cost of debt. These results have important policy implications as a country’s cost of debt could potentially be lowered by encouraging foreign portfolio investors to hold their optimal allocation.
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages40
JournalJournal of International Financial Markets Institutions and Money
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Sep 2017

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Sovereign debt
Costs
Cost of debt
International risk sharing
Investors
Bond portfolio
Benchmark
Optimal allocation
Yield spread
Bond yields
Prediction
Panel data
Finance
Policy implications
Sovereign bonds
Portfolio allocation

Keywords

  • cost of debt
  • international risk sharing
  • foreign bias
  • Eurozone sovereign debt crisis
  • natural experiment

Cite this

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title = "Cost of sovereign debt and foreign bias in bond allocations",
abstract = "Finance theory suggests that markets where foreign bond portfolio investors overweight their portfolio relative to the prescribed theoretical benchmark should experience higher international risk sharing. Correspondingly, the cost of debt in such markets should be lower compared to markets facing a lower degree of international risk sharing. We empirically examine this prediction using a panel data set of sovereign bond yield spreads and a measure of suboptimal foreign bond portfolio allocations for 50 emerging and ten developed markets. Consistent with theory, our results show higher levels of foreign bond allocations – relative to the theoretical benchmark – are negatively related to the cost of debt. These results have important policy implications as a country’s cost of debt could potentially be lowered by encouraging foreign portfolio investors to hold their optimal allocation.",
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AB - Finance theory suggests that markets where foreign bond portfolio investors overweight their portfolio relative to the prescribed theoretical benchmark should experience higher international risk sharing. Correspondingly, the cost of debt in such markets should be lower compared to markets facing a lower degree of international risk sharing. We empirically examine this prediction using a panel data set of sovereign bond yield spreads and a measure of suboptimal foreign bond portfolio allocations for 50 emerging and ten developed markets. Consistent with theory, our results show higher levels of foreign bond allocations – relative to the theoretical benchmark – are negatively related to the cost of debt. These results have important policy implications as a country’s cost of debt could potentially be lowered by encouraging foreign portfolio investors to hold their optimal allocation.

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