Working Papers

2014-19 | May 2016

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The Rise in Home Currency Issuance

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Firms in countries outside global financial centers have traditionally found it difficult to place bonds in international markets in their own currencies. Looking at a large sample of private international bond issues in the last 20 years, however, we observe an increase in bonds denominated in issuers' home currencies. This trend appears to have accelerated notably after the global financial crisis. We present a model that illustrates how the global financial crisis could have had a persistent impact on home currency bond issuance. The model shows that firms that issue for the first time in their home currencies during disruptive episodes, such as the crisis, find their relative costs of issuance in home currencies remain lower after conditions return to normal, partly due to the increased depth of the home currency debt market. Empirically, we show that increases in home currency foreign bond issuance occurred predominantly in advanced economies with good fundamentals and especially in the aftermath of the crisis. Consistent with the predictions of the model, financial firms - which are more homogeneous than their non-financial counterparts - in countries with stable inflation and low government debt increased home currency issuance by more. Our results point to the importance of both global financial market conditions and domestic economic policies in the share of home currency issuance.

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