Institutional Demand Pressure and the Cost of Corporate Loans
Harvard University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
University of California, Irvine - Paul Merage School of Business
February 1, 2010
Between 2001 and 2007, annual institutional funding in highly leveraged loans went up from $32 billion to $426 billion, accounting for nearly 70% of the jump in total syndicated loan issuance over the same period. Did the inflow of institutional funding in the syndicated loan market lead to mispricing of credit? To understand this relation, we look at the institutional demand pressure defined as the number of days a loan remains in syndication. Using market-level and cross-sectional variation in time-on-the-market, we find that a shorter syndication period is associated with a lower final interest rate. The relation is robust to the use of institutional fund flow as an instrument. Furthermore, we find significant price differences between institutional investors’ tranches and banks’ tranches of the same loans, even though they share the same underlying fundamentals. Increasing demand pressure causes the interest rate on institutional tranches to fall below the interest rate on bank tranches. Overall, a one-standard-deviation reduction in average time-on-the-market decreases the interest rate for institutional loans by over 30 basis points per annum. While this effect is significantly larger for loan tranches bought by structured investment vehicles (CDOs), it is not fully explained by their role.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 60
Keywords: Institutional investors, syndicated loans, LBO, credit crisis
JEL Classification: G11, G14, G21, G22, G23
Date posted: November 16, 2008 ; Last revised: May 28, 2010
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