Review of Financial Economics

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  • Corporate social responsibility and the wealth gains from dividend increases

    This study examines whether corporate social responsibility (CSR) influences the stock price response to dividend increase announcements and changes in subsequent operating performance. We find that dividend increasing firms with lower CSR scores elicit higher abnormal announcement returns and greater improvements in industry‐adjusted operating performance. These findings support the argument in the literature that socially responsible firms are more transparent and commit to higher ethical standards than other firms, suggesting that they suffer fewer agency and informational problems (Kim, Park, & Wier, 2012). Consequently, larger dividend payouts reduce agency costs in firms with lower CSR commitments, thereby generating higher wealth gains for shareholders.

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  • Over‐investment or risk mitigation? Corporate social responsibility in Asia‐Pacific, Europe, Japan, and the United States

    We study the relationship of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the distribution of stock returns for an international sample. Firms with a high level of CSR generally exhibit superior stock price synchronicity in the markets of Europe, Japan, and the United States. In particular, we identify optimal levels of CSR to minimize idiosyncratic risk for each region. Moreover, CSR has a mitigating effect on crash risk in Europe and the United States. In contrast, firms from the Asia‐Pacific region display CSR over‐investment followed by a higher crash risk. This appears to be a consequence of globalization, which forces firms from Asia‐Pacific to overinvest in CSR to adapt western standards.

  • Evaluating risk‐based capital regulation

    This paper evaluates the effectiveness of risk‐based capital (RBC) regulation and challenges some evidence from the well‐known study by Haldane and Madouros (2012). We reconsider the evidence on the relationship between RBC ratios and failures of US banks from Haldane and Madouros (2012) and find their results are not robust to changes in the sample period or regression model. Using data on US commercial banks from 2000 through 2015 and an improved regression model, we compare banks’ RBC ratios and simple capital ratios as predictors of bank risk. We find simple capital ratios to be significantly better than complex RBC ratios as predictors of bank risk.

  • Banks’ earnings: Empirical evidence of the influence of economic and financial market factors

    The structure of income is a foremost address within research on banks’ performance, especially with regard to effects on the resilience of banks’ earnings. Indeed, given their central position in the economy, banks shall thrive to generate sustainable earnings and control for their potential volatility. Existing studies mostly consider the weight of non‐net interest income (nonNII) as opposed to the traditional NII income source. Such aggregated nonNII is found to increase earnings risk but more granular studies conflict. We propose an original investigation of the influence of economic and financial conditions on various income types, assuming that performance may actually be driven by both the income structure and external conditions. We focus European banks, which have long been allowed to diversify beyond retail banking. Out of a straight panel framework, we question if the influence of external conditions spreads to earnings components other than credit losses and trading income and if it does allow for diversification benefits among components. We find that each component actually evolves owing to its own equation. Furthermore, effects of single variables may cumulate over different components of earnings (e.g. GDP) or provide with diversification benefits. These effects are all the more important since they are not mitigated by operating expenses. Hence, over a regarded period, banks’ performance depends upon their structure of income and upon volatilities and correlations of influential variables. Besides controlling for ex‐ante volatility, our approach shows that a given structure of income is not necessarily more resilient than others but that selected non‐banking income may support a higher stability of Earnings

  • Using partial least square discriminant analysis to distinguish between Islamic and conventional banks in the MENA region

    The deterioration of bank profitability poses a threat not only to the interests of consumers and internal staff members but also affects investors who may equally suffer from significant financial losses. It is important to establish an effective system which assists investors in their investment choices. In prior literature, traditional models have been developed, but achieved short‐term performances such as logistic regression and discriminant analysis. This paper applies a partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS‐DA) to distinguish between conventional and Islamic banks in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region based on the financial information for the period 2005–2011. This method can successfully identify the non‐linearity and correlations between financial indicators. The results demonstrate superior performance of the proposed method. On one hand, our model can select all financial ratios to distinguish between banks and at the same time identify the most important variables in the distinction process. On the other hand, the proposed model has high levels in terms of accuracy and stability.

  • Who drives whom ‐ sukuk or bond? A new evidence from granger causality and wavelet approach

    Sukuk is a highly appealing alternative instrument of conventional bond in the financial market over the last two decades. To a certain extent, the market players assume sukuk as the same as bond. However, sukuk has its own fundamental asset backed principles, whereas bond is backed by debt. The objective of the study is to examine the Granger‐causality and lead–lag relationship between sukuk and bond by using the data of the Malaysian Government securities return for both conventional and Islamic instruments. The data for every working day of 7 years covering the period from January 31, 2007 to December 31, 2013 were collected from Bloomberg database. The yield returns of both securities have been plotted for each six months of a year. This study applied both Granger‐causality and dynamic co‐movement techniques such as, continuous wavelet transforms (CWT) coherence for analyzing the temporal evolution of the frequency content of both securities by decomposing each period into different time scales. The empirical findings of the paper reveal that with a bit of exception, there is a causal relationship between sukuk securities and conventional bonds for a given period of time. For robustness, this study applied the wavelet coherence approach and found that bond is led by sukuk in the long term investment horizon rather than in the short term. Our findings relating to the lead‐lag relationship between sukuk and bonds have important implications in terms of policy regulations and investment management. Future research and market practices could reinvestigate the differences between these two securities across different markets and types.

  • The commodity super price cycle and real options: Implications for the Greeks of mining firms

    The Real Options Approach (ROA) to the management and valuation of mining firms should impart a distinctive pattern to the time path of the Greeks displayed by such firms during the recent price super cycle. This paper simulates the delta, gamma, vega and rho of a gold mining firm holding a portfolio of heterogeneous mines over the recent gold price cycle, to find out the telltale signs that the ROA should leave on the trajectories exhibited by such variables during that period. We show that the ROA and the standard NPV approach to mine management and valuation predict markedly different trajectories for the Greeks.

  • Public disclosure in acquisitions

    This paper analyzes firms’ optimal choice of information disclosure before an acquisition. The intuition is that value‐maximizing firms face the following tradeoffs. First, a more precise disclosure reduces risk premia. Second, too precise a disclosure that allows targets to profit increases the price paid for the target in an acquisition. The main conclusion is that firm chooses to disclose either all information or the minimum information required by the regulators, depending on the disclosure requirements, investors’ risk aversion, and the uncertainty embedded in technology shocks.

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    We study the relationship of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the distribution of stock returns for an international sample. Firms with a high level of CSR generally exhibit superior stock price synchronicity in the markets of Europe, Japan, and the United States. In particular, we...

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