Browsing by Author "Francis, Bill B."

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  • Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Sun, Xian; Wu, Qiang (2016)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 5/2016
    Published in in Journal of Corporate Finance 2016 ; 38 ; june ; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcorpfin.2016.03.003
    ​We show that firms led by politically partisan CEOs are associated with a higher level of corporate tax sheltering than firms led by nonpartisan CEOs. Specifically, Republican CEOs are associated with more corporate tax sheltering even when their wealth is not tied with that of shareholders and when corporate governance is weak, suggesting that their tax sheltering decisions could be driven by idiosyncratic factors such as their political ideology. We also show that Democratic CEOs are associated with more corporate tax sheltering only when their stock-based incentives are high, suggesting that their tax sheltering decisions are more likely to be driven by economic incentives. In sum, our results support the political connection hypothesis in general but highlight that the specific factors driving partisan CEOs’ tax sheltering behaviors differ. Our results imply that it may cost firms more to motivate Democratic CEOs to engage in more tax sheltering activities because such decisions go against their political beliefs regarding tax policies.
  • Choi, Sungho; Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar (2010)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 4/2010
    The impact of cross-border bank M&As on bank risk remains an open question. Though geographically diversifying bank M&As have the potential to reduce the risk of bank insolvency, they also have the potential to increase that risk due to the increase in risk-taking incentives for bank managers and stockholders following these transactions. This paper empirically investigates whether cross-border bank M&As increase or decrease the risk of acquiring banks as captured by changes in acquirers yield spreads. The paper also investigates how differences in the institutional environments between bidder and target countries affect changes in yield spreads following M&A announcements. The study finds that bondholders, in general, perceive cross-border bank M&As as risk-increasing activities, unlike domestic bank mergers. Specifically, on average, yield spreads increase by 4.13 basis points following the announcement of cross-border M&As. This study also finds that these yield spreads are significantly affected by the differences in investor-protection and deposit-insurance environments between the transacting countries. However, the study does not find that the regulatory and supervisory environment in the home countries of the transacting parties significantly affects the changes in yield spreads. The overall evidence suggests that regulators should judge the relative environment in both the home and the host countries in evaluating the associated risks of an active multinational financial institution and in setting the sufficiency of the banks reserve positions.
  • Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Shen, Yinjie (Victor); Wu, Qiang (2021)
    Journal of Financial Economics 1 ; July
    Using a comprehensive US hedge fund activism dataset from 2003 to 2018, we find that activist hedge funds are about 52% more likely to target firms with female CEOs compared to firms with male CEOs. We find that firm fundamentals, the existence of a “glass cliff,” gender discrimination bias, and hedge fund activists’ inherent characteristics do not explain the observed gender effect. We also find that the transformational leadership style of female CEOs is a plausible explanation for this gender effect: instead of being self-defensive, female CEOs are more likely to communicate and cooperate with hedge fund activists to achieve intervention goals. Finally, we find that female-led targets experience greater increases in market and operational performance subsequent to hedge fund targeting.
  • Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Hunter, Delroy M.; Zhu, Yun (2017)
    Journal of Corporate Finance October
    BoF DP 16/2017
    There is scant evidence on how risk-taking incentives impact specific firm risks. This has implications for board oversight of managerial risk taking, firms' development of comparative advantage in taking particular risks, and compensation design. We examine this question for exchange rate risk. Using multiple identification strategies, we find that vega increases exchange rate exposure for purely domestic and globally engaged firms. Vega's impact increases with international operations, declines post-SOX, and is robust to firm-level governance. Our results suggest that evidence that exposure reduces firm value can be viewed, in part, as a wealth transfer from shareholders and debt-holders to managers.
  • Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Hunter, Delroy M.; Zhu, Yun (2017)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 16/2017
    Published in Journal of Corporate Finance, 46, October 2017: 154-169
    There is scant evidence on how risk-taking incentives impact specific firm risks. This has implications for board oversight of managerial risk taking, firms’ development of comparative advantage in taking particular risks, and compensation design. We examine this question for exchange rate risk. Using multiple identification strategies, we find that vega increases exchange rate exposure for purely domestic and globally engaged firms. Vega’s impact increases with international operations, declines post-SOX, and is robust to firm-level governance. Our results suggest that evidence that exposure reduces firm value can be viewed, in part, as a wealth transfer from shareholders and debt-holders to managers.
  • Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Hunter, Delroy M. (2008)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 14/2008
    Published in Journal of Financial Economics, Volume 90, Issue 2, November 2008, Pages 169-196
    While the importance of currency movements to industry competitiveness is theoretically well established, there is little evidence that currency risk impacts US industries. Applying a conditional asset-pricing model to 36 US industries, we find that all industries have a significant currency premium that adds about 2.47 percentage points to the cost of equity and accounts for approximately 11.7% of the absolute value of total risk premia. Cross-industry variation in the currency premium is explained by foreign income, industry competitiveness, leverage, liquidity and other industry characteristics, while its time variation is explained by US aggregate foreign trade, monetary policy, growth opportunities and other macro variables. The results indicate that methodological weakness, not hedging, explains the insignificant industry currency risk premium found in previous work, thus resolving the conundrum that the currency risk premium is important at the aggregate stock market level, but not at industry level
  • Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Sun, Xian (2012)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 28/2012
    Ilmestynyt myös Journal of Economics and Business 2014 ; 73 ; May.
    Using a sample of U.S. mergers and acquisitions, this study evaluates how banking relationships influence acquirers choice of financial advisors. Specifically, it examines: i) acquirers previous relationships with advisors in various financial activities: M&A advisories, equity issuings and lending activities; ii) the optimism of analyst recommendations; and iii) how acquirers past satisfaction with their financial advisors determines the choice of financial advisors. Overall, the findings suggest that the influence of banking relationships on a firm s choice of financial institutions is limited in the area of M&A advisory business. The implications from the traditional relationship banking studies may not be suitable to explain how firms choose advisors, due to the wide variety of practices in investment banking activities. The evidence portrays that firms with M&A experience are more likely to switch financial advisors with poor deal outcomes. Firms without M&A experience, on the other hand, are more likely to choose their underwriters as financial advisors, especially when they provide overly optimistic analyst coverage prior to the transactions.
  • Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Sun, Xian (2006)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 24/2006
    Julkaisun kansilehdellä nimi Xian Sun on muodossa Zian Sun. Published in Journal of Banking & Finance, Volume 32, Issue 8, August 2008, pp. 1522-1540.
    Using theories of internal capital markets, this paper examines the link between financial market integration and the value of global diversification.Based on a sample of 1,491 completed cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) conducted by US acquirers during the 1990-2003 period, we find that, in general, US shareholders gain significant positive abnormal returns following the announcement of the merger/acquisition.Specifically, firms that acquire/merge with targets from countries with financially segmented markets experience significantly higher positive abnormal returns than those that acquire/merge with targets from countries with financially integrated capital markets.We find that the significantly higher positive returns are driven particularly by deals between firms from unrelated industries.These firms with higher announcement returns are also characterized by positive and significant post-merger operating performance.This finding is consistent with our event study results and suggests that the overall improvement in the merged firms' performance is likely due to the influx of internal capital from wholly integrated acquirers to segmented targets, firms that, on average are usually faced with higher capital constraints. Keywords: financial market integration, global diversification, internal capital markets, mergers, acquisitions JEL classification numbers: G15, G31, G34
  • Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Sun, Xian (2012)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 31/2012
    Published in International Review of Financial Analysis, Volume 32, March 2014, Pages 143-158
    This paper examines the determinants of the choice of financial advisors and their impact on the announcement effects of US acquirers in cross-border M&As. Two hypotheses are tested: one pertains to the acquiring firms' home preference in selecting financial advisors, and the other relates to advisors' experience in target countries. Evidence supports the home preference hypothesis in the selection of advisors in cross-border M&As, particularly in all-cash paid transactions where acquirers take the entire risk of not realizing the expected synergy value. We also observe home preference among investors as acquirers that picked US advisors experience significantly higher positive abnormal returns in all-cash paid transactions than those without US advisors, even when the chosen US advisors do not have significant experience in the target country. Finally, home preference at the choice of financial advisor may be costly if US acquirers pass by more experienced because of home preference.
  • Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Zhu, Yun (2020)
    Financial Review 1 ; February
    Published in BoF DP 29/2013.
    This paper provides evidence that the managerial effect is a key determinant of firms’ cost of capital, in the context of private debt contracting. Applying the novel empirical method developed by an earlier study to a large sample that tracks the job movement of top managers, we find that the managerial effect is a critical and significant factor that explains a large part of the variation in loan contract terms more accurately than firm fixed effects. Additional evidence shows that banks “follow” managers when they change jobs and offer loan contracts with preferential terms to their new firms.
  • Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Zhu Yun (2013)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 29/2013
    Published in Financial Review 2020 ; 55 ; 1 ; pp. 25-59 ; "Managerial effect or firm effect : Evidence from the private debt market" https://doi.org/10.1111/fire.12196
    This paper provides direct evidence that managerial style is a key determinant of the firm's cost of capital, in the context of private debt contracting. Applying the novel empirical method by Abowd, Karmarz, and Margolis (1999) to a large sample that tracks job movement of top managers, we find that managerial style is a critical factor that explains a large part of the variation in loan contract terms. The loan-term-related managerial styles correlate with managerial styles of firm performance and corporate decisions, implying that certain managers achieve better firm performance via lower cost of capital and other desirable non-price loan terms. We further find direct evidence that banks "follow" managers' job changes and offer loan contracts with preferential terms to their new firms. Some of the preferred managerial styles reflect managers' personal characteristics, such as managerial ability, authority and conservatism
  • Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Sun, Xian (2009)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 7/2009
    Published in Journal of International Money and Finance, Volume 28, Issue 4, June 2009: 696-719
    We examine how political connections impact the process of going public. Specifically, we test how political connections impact the pricing of newly offered shares, the magnitude of underpricing, and the fixed cost of going public. Based on experiences of the new public firms in the Chinese security markets and using multiple measures of political connections, we find robust evidence that issuing firms with political connections reap significant preferential benefits from going public. To be specific, we find that firms irrespective of ownership arrangements with greater political connections have higher offering prices, less underpricing, and lower fixed costs during the going-public process.
  • Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Hunter, Delroy M. (2002)
    Bank of Finland. Discussion papers 9/2002
    This paper, which is motivated by the literature on international asset pricing and recent work on exchange rate determination, investigates dynamic relationships between major currency and equity markets.Using a multivariate GARCH framework, we examine conditional cross-autocorrelations between pairs of national equity markets and related exchange rates.This provides a parsimonious way of testing mean-volatility relationships in currency and equity markets and re-examining the robustness of relationships between equity markets, while controlling for exchange rate effects.We find that the relationship between currency and equity markets is bi-directional, significant, persistent, and independent of the relationship strictly between equity markets, and that it is better captured by the conditional second moments Key words: international asset pricing, exchange rate determination, equity markets, relationships between currency and equity markets. JEL classification numbers: G12, G14, G15, F31
  • Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Küllü, A. Melih; Zhou, Mingming (2018)
    Economic Systems 1
    The paper investigates whether diversification/focus across assets, industries and borrowers affects bank performance when banks’ abilities (screening and monitoring) are considered. The initial results show that diversification (focus) at the asset, industry and borrower levels is expected to decrease (increase) returns. However, once banks’ screening and monitoring abilities are controlled for, the effect of diversification/focus either gets weaker or disappears. Further, in some cases, these abilities enhance banks’ long-run performance, but in others they prove to be costly, at least, in the short run. Thus, the level of monitoring and screening abilities should be taken into consideration in understanding, planning and implementing diversification/focus strategies.
  • Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Kostova, Gergana L.; Ben Naceur, Sami (2020)
    Asia-Pacific Journal of Financial Studies 2
    This paper tests how capital markets value the international diversification of banks in good and in bad economic times by investigating changes in domestic and foreign sovereign debt ratings before and during the European sovereign debt crisis. Tracing 320 European banks in 29 countries and 226 credit rating announcements for European sovereigns between 1 January 2001 and 15 August 2012, we show that the market values banks with access to foreign funds. Despite occasional adverse effects immediately following negative news regarding sovereign credit rating changes, international diversification was found to be beneficial to European banks, especially during periods of distress.
  • Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Zhu Yun (2013)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 27/2013
    This paper provides original evidence from institutional investors that political uncertainty during presidential elections greatly affects investment. Using U.S. institutional ownership data from 1981 to 2010, we find that institutions significantly reduce their holdings of common stock by 0.76 to 2.1 percentage points during election years. More specifically, institutions tend to sell large proportions of their positions when Republicans win presidential elections and then keep their positions at below-average levels through the first year of the new administration. Conversely, when Democrats win presidential elections, institutions tend to keep their positions at above-average levels for the first year of the new administration. The difference in ownership rises to 2.4% by the end of the first year of new administration. Changes in institutional ownership in election years are sensitive to the uncertainty of the outcome. Our results also show that institutions benefit from these holding strategies during the pre-election periods. Keywords: political uncertainty, presidential election, institutional investor, investment JEL Classification: G23 (Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors), G28 (Government Policy and Regulation), P16 (Political Economy)
  • Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Lothian, James R.; Sun, Xian (2008)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 10/2008
    Published in Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Volume 45, Issue 1, 2010: 81-106
    While the signalling hypothesis has played a prominent role as the economic rationale associated with the initial public offering (IPO) underpricing puzzle (Welch, 1989), the empirical evidence on it has been mixed at best (Jegadeesh, Weinstein and Welch, 1993; Michaely and Shaw, 1994). This paper revisits the issue from the vantage point of close to two decades of additional experience by examining a sample of foreign IPOs firms from both financially integrated and segmented markets in US markets. The evidence indicates that signalling does matter in determining IPO underpricing, especially for firms domiciled in countries with segmented markets, which as a result face higher information asymmetry and lack access to external capital markets. We find a significant positive and robust relationship between the degree of IPO underpricing and segmented-market firms seasoned equity offering activities. For firms from integrated markets, in contrast, the analyst-coverage-purchase hypothesis appears to matter more in explaining IPO underpricing and the aftermarket price appreciation explains these firms seasoned equity offering activities. The evidence, therefore, clearly supports the notion that some firms are willing to leave money on the table voluntarily to get a more favorable price at seasoned offerings when they are substantially wealth constrained, a prediction embedded in the signalling hypothesis.
  • Francis, Bill B.; Hasan, Iftekhar; Kostova, Gergana L. (2016)
    Bank of Finland Research Discussion Papers 8/2016
    Published in Journal of International Money and Finance Volume 69, December 2016, Pages 364–389
    We assess the importance of industry peers for a firm’s own decision making strategy, using a rich sample of data covering 47 countries and 87 different industries between 1990 and 2011. Following the instrumental variable approach suggested by Leary and Roberts (2014), we find that, similar to U.S. firms, foreign firms do follow their peers when they make financial policy decisions. A standard deviation increase in peer firms’ average leverage leads to about 5 percentage points increase in a firm’s own leverage. We also find evidence that firms are more likely to follow their peers when investor protection laws including information disclosure and minority shareholder protection are weak, when creditor rights laws are strong, and when equity markets are more developed, suggesting that peers matter the most when firms have the greatest need to learn and to demonstrate their quality. These results hold even when we perform the analysis on a matched sample of firms.