Exchange Rate Risk and the Equity Performance of Financial Intermediaries: Evidence from an International Sample
26 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2011 Last revised: 9 Sep 2013
Date Written: February 3, 2012
This study uses the VAR-BEKK methodology to examine the relationship between equity returns and currency exposure for a sample of U.S., U.K. and Japanese banks and insurance firms during 2003-2011. The findings indicate that banks’ equity returns are negatively related to changes in foreign currency value during the recent financial crisis (2008-2011). That is, the U.S. (Japanese) banking sector is negatively correlated to changes in the Japanese Yen (U.S. dollar). Looking at the insurance sector, the U.S./U.K. insurers are negatively linked to changes in the value of Japanese Yen, and this relationship is accentuated during the crisis. Home currency exposure is not significant for any insurer. When size is taken into account, only small U.S. banks are exposed to home currency changes, while only large Japanese banks are exposed to foreign currency changes. Overall, the negative relationship between the foreign currency value and bank/insurance equity returns supports the “flight to quality” hypothesis from the U.S./U.K. to Japan.
JEL Classification: C22, C50, G10, G14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation