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Bank Loans as a Financial Discipline: A Direct Agency Cost of Equity Perspective
In a 2004 study, Harvey, Lin and Roper argue that debt makers with a commitment to monitoring can create value for outside shareholders whenever information asymmetry and agency costs are pronounced. I investigate Harvey, Lin and Roper's claim for bank loans by empirically testing the effect of information asymmetry and direct agency costs on the abnormal returns of the borrowers' stock around the announcement of bank loans. I divide my study into two main sections. The first section tests whether three proxies of the direct agency costs of equity are equally significant in measuring the direct costs associated with outside equity agency problems. I find that the asset utilization ratio proxy is the most statistically significant proxy of the direct agency costs of equity using a Chow F-test statistic. The second main section of my dissertation includes and event study and a cross-sectional analysis. The event study results document significant and positive average abnormal returns of 1.01% for the borrowers' stock on the announcement day of bank loans. In the cross sectional analysis of the borrowers' average abnormal stock returns, I find that higher quality and more reputable banks/lenders provide a reliable certification to the capital market about the low level of the borrowers' direct agency costs of equity and information asymmetry. This certification hypothesis holds only for renewed bank loans. In other words, in renewing the borrowers' line of credit, the bank/lender is actually confirming that the borrower has a low level of information asymmetry and direct costs of equity. Given such a certificate from the banks/lenders, shareholders reward the company/borrower by bidding the share price up in the capital market.
Empirical Evidence of Pricing Efficiency in Niche Markets
Unique and proprietary data of the illiquid, one-year non cancelable for three month Bermudan swaps (1Y NC 3M swaps) and one-year non callable for three months Bermudan CDs (1Y NC 3M CDs), provides evidence of market efficiency. The 1Y NC 3M swap and 1Y NC 3M CD markets efficiently reflected unexpected economic information. The 1Y NC 3M swaption premiums also followed the European one-year into three-month (1Y into 3M) swaption volatilities. Swaption premiums were computed by pricing non-optional instruments using the quoted 1Y NC 3M swap rates and the par value swap rates and taking the difference between them. Swaption premiums ranged from a slight negative premium to a 0.21 percent premium. The average swaption premium during the study period was 0.02 percent to 0.04 percent. The initial swaption premiums were over 0.20 percent while the final swaption premiums were 0.02 percent to 0.04 percent. Premiums peaked and waned throughout the study period depending on market uncertainty as reflected in major national economic announcements, Federal Reserve testimonies and foreign currency devaluations. Negative swaption premiums were not necessarily irrational or quoting errors. Frequently, traders obligated to provide market quotes to customers do not have an interest and relay that lack of interest to the customer through a nonaggressive quote. The short-dated 1Y NC 3M swaption premiums closely followed 3M into 1Y swaption volatilities, indicating the 3M into 1Y swaption market closely follows the 1Y NC 3M swaption market and that similar market factors affect both markets or both markets efficiently share information. Movements in 1Y NC 3M swaption premiums and in 3M into 1Y swaption volatilities reflected a rational response by market participants to unexpected economic information. As market uncertainty decreased in the market place, risk measured both by swaption premiums and swaption volatilities decreased; vice verse when economic factors showed ...
Empirical Tests of the Signaling and Monitoring Hypotheses for Initial Public Offerings
The research questions investigated are: 1. Are the expected post-issue fractional holdings of the directors and officers, venture capitalists and institutions signals of firm value? 2. Are the expected post-issue fractional holdings of the directors and officers, venture capitalists and institutions signals of underpricing? and 3. Are the directors and officers, venture capitalists and institutions monitors of IPO investments? The signaling theory developed by Grinblatt and Hwang (1989) (GH) and the monitoring theory for IPO investments have been used to develop the hypotheses for this dissertation. Four factors make my methodology unique. These factors are: 1. I apply and test the GH IPO signaling model over a unique data set collected from the IPO prospectuses, proxy statements and annual reports; 2. I disaggregate the expected post-issue holdings of the different groups of pre-issue blockholders and insiders and hypothesizes that these individual groups represents signals of firm value and underpricing; 3. I hypothesize that these groups, in aggregate and separately, monitor IPO investments over the long term; And 4. I develop signaling and monitoring hypotheses to make predictions at the two stages of the IPO. The results show that firm value is positively related to the level of underpricing, at a given variance of the firms cash flows; the level of underpricing is positively related to the holdings of the directors and officers as a group and the aggregate of the directors and officers, VCs and institutions, at given variances of the firm's cash flows; the firm value is not related to the level of underpricing, at a given level of capital outlay and holdings of either the aggregate blockholders, directors and officers, VCs or institutions. For the monitoring hypotheses, the results show that the long-run buy-and-hold-returns are positively related to the investment bank reputation and the gross spread. Also, the ...
Reconciling capital structure theories in predicting the firm's decisions.
Past literature attempts to resolve the issue of the motivation behind managers' choice of a given capital structure. Despite several decades of intensive research, there is still no consensus about which theory dominates capital structure decisions. The present study empirically investigates the relative importance of two prominent theories of capital structure- the trade-off and the pecking order theories by exploring the conditions under which each theory can explain the financing choices of firms. These conditions are defined along two dimensions: (i) a firm's degree of information asymmetry, and (ii) its observed leverage relative to target leverage. The results show that, in the short-run, pecking order theory has more explanatory power in explaining the financing choices of firms. The target leverage theory assumes limited importance: Over-leveraged firms, when faced with low adverse information, are more inclined to adapt to the trade-off policies. In the presence of high information asymmetry, however, firms appear to be more concerned about adverse selection costs and make financing decisions that are more consistent with the pecking order theory. An analysis of the market reaction to seasoned equity issuances during announcement periods reveals that firms with high information asymmetry are penalized more than firms with low information asymmetry. This may explain the contradiction when over-leveraged firms continue to issue debt. However, the situation is reversed in the long run. Firms' long term financing goals appear to follow the leverage re-balancing theory. An analysis of financial activities over a five-year period, subsequent to security issuance decisions when they appear to be inconsistent with trade-off theory, reveals that firms follow an active policy of moving closer to the target leverage. In sum, the notion of target capital structure appears to exist. In the short-term, the management's financing decisions are consistent with the modified version of the pecking order theory, ...