The response of the external finance premium in Asian corporate bond markets to financial characteristics, financial constraints and two financial crises
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Empirical investigation of the external finance premium has been conducted on the margin between internal finance and bank borrowing or equities but little attention has been given to corporate bonds, especially for the emerging Asian market. In this paper, we hypothesize that balance sheet indicators of creditworthiness could affect the external finance premium for bonds as they do for premia in other markets. Using bond-specific and firm-specific data for China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand during 1995-2009 we find that firms with better financial health face lower external finance premia in all countries. When we introduce firm-level heterogeneity, we show that financial variables appear to be both statistically and quantitatively more important for financially constrained firms. Finally, when we examine the effects of the 1997-98 Asian crisis and the 2007-09 global financial crisis, we find that the sensitivity of the premium is greater for constrained firms during the Asian crisis compared to other times.
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