Mapping Thailand’s Financial Landscape: A Perspective through Balance Sheet Linkages and Contagion
This paper conducts in-depth profiling of players and interlinkages in the Thai financial system based on sectoral balance sheet data and disaggregated supervisory data on banks and mutual funds. Several aspects of Thailand’s financial landscape have been documented. We find that financial interconnectedness has risen and become more complex, with the financial landscape increasingly tilted toward non-bank intermediaries. Network topology suggests a segmented landscape, with the presence of a core cluster where key players including households, firms, large domestic banks, and mutual funds of large banks’ asset management arms are located, indicating their tight interconnections. Leveraging on entity-level balance sheet profiles, we develop a stress-testing framework that is based on a network model of financial contagion. Two types of shocks are studied. For industry shocks, we find that losses generally propagate via the liability and ownership channel and the reverse liquidity channel. But when the losses are large enough, the fire-sale effects dominate. For bank reputational shocks, we simulate a loss of confidence in major banks via deposit withdrawal and fund redemption. While the overall losses are much smaller than those of industry shocks, these risks cannot be ignored since the mutual fund industry stands to suffer and panic selling could amplify the losses.
Institutional Capital Allocation and Equity Returns: Evidence from Thai Mutual Funds’ Holdings
Information about mutual funds’ stock holdings can provide useful signal for investors. In this study, we show that portfolio of stocks that are not favored by mutual funds tend to perform poorly, with monthly returns of 0.38% to 0.82% lower than stocks more widely held. When compared against asset pricing models, portfolio of such stocks can have monthly alphas as low as -0.33%, and the reason seems unrelated to stock-picking ability. One possible explanation is that demand from institutional investors can drive up stock prices, highlighting the importance of investor clientele in emerging market asset pricing.
Chasing Returns with High-Beta Stocks
One of the proposed explanations for the low-beta anomaly – a prevalent yet puzzling empirical finding that stocks with low systematic risk tend to earn higher returns than the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) predicts and vice versa – is that leveraged-constrained and index-benchmarked mutual funds drive up demand for high-beta stocks, leading to systematic mispricing. We find evidence that Thai mutual fund managers, on average, favor high-beta stocks and tend to alter their portfolio composition of high-beta stocks in response to fund flows. In addition, funds that hold high-beta stocks perform poorly compared to their peers: a one standard deviation increase in high-beta stock holdings is associated with a 1.3 percentage point decrease in future relative returns.
Distributional Effects of Monetary Policy on Housing Bubbles: Some Evidence
Empirical asset pricing has always considered housing only as an investment good. This paper explores empirically the effect of monetary policy on housing bubbles when there exists a duality in housing markets: invest (own) vs. consume (rent). Using both simple and time-varying structural vector autoregression (SVAR and TVC-SVAR) with the U.S. housing market data between 1983-2017, this paper studies monetary transmission separately in the homeowners’ market and the renters’ market. Major findings are: (i) house price is sticky in that it takes more than 2.5 years for the full impact of monetary policy to occur; (ii) there is heterogeneity in the two housing markets: house price dynamic is more consistent with its fundamental in the renters’ market rather than in the homeowners’ market. This suggests that the two markets differ in their vulnerability to housing bubbles. (iii) monetary policy can play a useful role in stabilizing housing bubbles. Results are robust to alternative identifications of monetary policy shock.
Economic Fundamentals and Spill-over among Asian Term Structures
This paper estimates affine term structure models of government bonds in selected 5 emerging countries during 2002-2015 periods. It aims to study the relationship between sovereign bond markets and the real economy. The analysis confirms evidences earlier that macroeconomic variables help explaining yield curve and term premium dynamics. For short-term bonds, yield’s responses to shocks are mostly carried by policy channel. For long-term bonds, responses are mostly from term premium. Furthermore, there are external factors that could generate yields co-movement in some emerging-economy countries. Our findings therefore suggest that portfolio diversification would benefit investors who allocate their assets globally. Central banks, however, have to face with difficulties in managing bond market as they have to oversee risk factors affecting investors’ risk perception and causing cross-country spill-over effects.
International Correlation Asymmetries: Frequent-but-Small and Infrequent-but-Large Equity Returns
We propose a novel regime-switching model to study correlation asymmetries in international equity markets. We decompose returns into frequent-but-small diffusion and infrequent-but-large jumps, and derive an estimation method for many countries. Wefind that correlations due to jumps, not diffusion, increase markedly in bad markets leading to correlation breaks during crises. Our model provides a better description of correlation asymmetries than GARCH, copula and stochastic volatilit ymodels. Good and bad regimes are persistent. Regime changes are detected rapidly and risk diversification allocations are improved. Asset allocation results in and out-of-sample are superior to other models including the 1/strategy.
Daily Movements in the Thai Yield Curve: Fundamental and Non-Fundamental Drivers
This paper attempts to identify the key determinants of daily yield movements in the Thai government bond market. It finds that Thai short-term yield movements are solely driven by domestic factors, namely policy rate expectations and bond supply. By contrast, longer-tenor yields are also found to be affected by global factors, namely global monetary conditions and global risk appetite. Apart from these “fundamental” factors, the net-buying pressures of foreign players, and not those of domestic investors, are also found to exert significant influence over the Thai medium and long rates. Taken alone, this finding may appear somewhat alarming as it implies that foreign activity can be a significant source of market volatility. Further investigations suggest, however, that the detected foreign influence may be due to informational reasons; foreign investors lead yield movements because they provide price-relevant “private” information to the market. Viewed in this light, the detected foreign influence may not altogether be so detrimental, at least insofar as normal periods are concerned.
Macroprudential Policy in a Bubble-Creation Economy
This paper analyzes macroprudential policy in the form of loan-to-value (LTV) restriction in a bubble-creation economy of Martin and Ventura (forth- coming). We find that implementation of LTV policy may generate multiple equilibria. Moreover, its effectiveness in terms of investment and size of bubbles depends on the degree of financial friction. In high-capital steady state, low (high) financial friction implies that bubbles originally crowd out (in) investment, so that implementation of LTV policy causes bubbles to decrease (remain unchanged) and enhances (reduces) investment. However, in low-capital equilibrium, the policy has ambiguous effects. LTV policy may help to lower the possibility of sunspot equilibria in two aspects: (1) by destabilizing the low-capital steady state and (2) by confining the set of consistent market sentiments in the presence of high financial friction.
Extracting Market Inflation Expectations: A Semi-structural Macro-finance Term Structure Model
This paper estimates the term structure of inflation expectations using a semi-structural macro-finance term structure model based on new Keynesian macroeconomic framework and the arbitrage-free affine term structure model which defines bond prices as an affine function of state variables. Key economic variables and Thai government bond yield curve data are used to filter out for unobserved components. While letting the inflation target adapts over time, the results suggest that the inflation target has trended down under inflation targeting regime. The long-term inflation expectation is well anchored while the inflation risk premium has dropped substantially over the past five years. The real interest rate is considerably volatile and is a major contributor to movements in the 10-year government bond yield.