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Ioana Alexopoulou

27 August 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1085
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Abstract
Applied to the European markets, this paper analyzes the price of credit risk on the Credit Default Swap (CDS) and corporate bond markets by comparing the sensitivity of the credit spreads on each market to systematic, idiosyncratic risk factors and liquidity. Our analysis confirms the existence of a long-run relationship between the two markets, and the tendency for CDS markets to lead corporate bond markets in terms of price discovery. We find that the outbreak of the financial turmoil in the summer of 2007 induced a substantial increase in risk aversion and a shift in the pricing of credit risk, with CDS markets becoming more sensitive to systematic risk while cash bond markets priced in more information about liquidity and idiosyncratic risk. Moreover, the financial turbulence also brought about a systematic disconnection between the two markets caused by the significant change in the lead-lag relationship, with CDS markets always leading the cash bond markets.
JEL Code
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
23 September 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1093
Details
Abstract
Based on a rich database of government bond spreads and macroeconomic indicators over the period 2001-2008, we propose an empirical assessment of the role of fundamentals in driving long-term sovereign bond spreads of the new EU countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia). The results of a dynamic panel error correction model that accounts for both common long-run determinants and cross-country heterogeneities in sovereign bond spreads tend to suggest that fundamentals still matter for market’s assessment of a country creditworthiness. Countries’ levels of external debt, fiscal and current account balances, exchange and inflation rates, their degree of trade openness as well as short-term interest rate spreads play an important role in the new EU countries’ access to long-term finance. We furthermore challenge the pooled mean approach in order to check whether other factors may become relevant in the long-run for two sub-groups of countries according to the developments in their current account balances. Fiscal fundamentals seem to matter most for one group of countries, those characterised by widening external imbalances and historically high levels of spreads. In a context of heightened risk aversion and potential for spill over effects, this group of countries are more exposed to domestic sources of vulnerability as well as to swings in market perceptions of sovereign risks.
JEL Code
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
H60 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→General
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy