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BIS Quarterly Review, March 2018

The BIS Quarterly Review for March 2018: Volatility is back Remarks by Mr Claudio Borio, Head of the Monetary and Economic Department, and Mr Hyun Song Shin, Economic Adviser & Head of Research, at the media briefing on 9 March 2018.   Contents International banking and financial market developments Special features Quarterly Review boxes     Statistical data BIS Statistics: Charts Data behind all graphs BIS Statistical Bulletin BIS Statistics homepage International

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The BIS Quarterly Review for March 2018: Volatility is back

Remarks by Mr Claudio Borio, Head of the Monetary and Economic Department, and Mr Hyun Song Shin, Economic Adviser & Head of Research, at the media briefing on 9 March 2018.

International banking and financial market developments

Volatility is back
Stock markets across the globe underwent a sharp correction in late January and early February. After a steady rally that had lasted several months, capped by the strongest January since the 1990s, the release of a labour market report showing higher than expected US wage growth heralded a burst of heightened activity. Equity valuations fell, rebounded and fell again, amid unusual levels of intraday volatility. This correction coincided with higher volatility in government bond markets. Long-term Treasury yields had been gradually rising since mid-December, as investors ... More...
Common lenders in emerging Asia: their changing roles in three crises
The "common lender channel" is a mechanism that facilitates the spread of financial shocks around the globe. Creditor banks withdraw from previously unaffected countries when highly exposed to the epicentre of a crisis. At the time of the Asian financial crisis in 1997, Japanese banks dominated lending to emerging Asia. When Japanese banks cut their credit sharply, less exposed European banks took over as leading lenders. When the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-09 and the European sovereign debt crisis of 2010 struck, it was euro area lenders' turn to pull back ... More...

Special features

Early warning indicators of banking crises: expanding the family
Household and international debt (cross-border or in foreign currency) are a potential source of vulnerabilities that could eventually lead to banking crises. We explore this issue formally by assessing the performance of these debt categories as early warning indicators (EWIs) for systemic banking crises. We find that they do contain useful information. In fact, over the more recent subsample, for household and cross-border debt indicators the information is similar to that of the more commonly used aggregate credit variables regularly monitored by the BIS. ... More...
Tracking the international footprints of global firms
As the global economy becomes more integrated, there is a growing tension between the nature of economic activity and the measurement system that attempts to keep up with it. Many policies are still determined by measuring economic activity at the national level. Since the typical unit of analysis is the economic area (the "island"), economic activity is measured within the island and in terms of transactions between islands. But, increasingly, companies and their ownership are global, with economic activity taking place in a geographically dispersed way. We analyse ... More...
Payments are a-changin' but cash still rules
Retail payment systems continue to become faster and more convenient. Yet, despite increased use of electronic payments around the world, there is scant evidence of a shift away from cash. As the appetite for cash remains unabated, few societies are close to "cashless" or even "less-cash". In fact, demand for cash has risen in most advanced economies since the start of the Great Financial Crisis. This resurgence appears to be driven by store-of-value motives (reflecting lower opportunity cost of holding cash) rather than by payment needs. ... More...
The ABCs of bank PBRs
Price-to-book ratios have been unusually low for many banks since the Great Financial Crisis. Ratios below one, in particular, have been seen as reflecting market concerns about banks' health and profitability as well as the need for shifts in business models. But what drives these valuations globally? What explains consistently low levels for some banks and jurisdictions? This special feature proposes an empirical valuation methodology based on the intangible value attached to bank assets and liabilities. Our model fits the data well across time and banks, suggesting that ... More...
Mortgages, developers and property prices
This special feature studies the risks posed by the rapid rise in property developer debt in several Asian economies in recent years. Gradually, the firms involved are shifting away from traditional bank loans and choosing to issue debt securities, often in foreign currency. So far indebtedness has tended to be low for most firms, but weak profitability and declining interest coverage ratios give cause for concern. The firms are thus vulnerable to shocks, such as increases in interest rates, falling property prices or local currency depreciations. Even if outright defaults can be avoided, ... More...
The implications of passive investing for securities markets
The popularity of passive investing through index mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) has grown substantially over recent years, displacing higher-cost active investment styles. A shift towards passive investing could affect securities markets in two key ways. First, it could result in higher correlation of returns and less security-specific price information. Second, it could affect aggregate investment fund flows and market price dynamics. In this context, active mutual funds exhibited persistent outflows in recent stress periods, ... More...

Quarterly Review boxes

International Settlement
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an international company limited by shares owned by central banks which "fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks". The BIS carries out its work through subcommittees, the secretariats it hosts and through an annual general meeting of all member banks. It also provides banking services, but only to central banks and other international organizations. It is based in Basel, Switzerland, with representative offices in Hong Kong and Mexico City.

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