Domestic lead arranger certification and the pricing of project finance loans
Using a sample of 1,270 project finance syndicated loan tranches arranged from 1998 to 2011 and worth over $300 billion, we estimate the causal impact of certification by domestic lead arrangers on the pricing of project finance loans in emerging markets. We hypothesize that, on average, domestic arrangers are better able to structure and screen project finance deals, credibly communicate the true value of a project and its underlying network of contracts, and monitor the loan contract compared to foreign arrangers. If so, all things being equal, domestic arranger certification should result in lower loan spreads compared to foreign arranger certification. Our results support this hypothesis. After controlling for project and loan characteristics and the potential endogeneity of the lead arranger's selection, we find that certification by domestic arrangers causes a significant reduction in loan spreads across different industrial categories and geographic locations of projects. This finding demonstrates the economic value of domestic arranger certification in project finance lending. Our results suggest that, in the presence of information asymmetry between project sponsors and participant lenders in the syndicate, certification by domestic arrangers offers a superior mechanism to minimize search, information and monitoring costs.
The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
Citation : Ahiabor, F. and James, G. (2018) Domestic lead arranger certification and the pricing of project finance loans. International Journal of Finance and Economics, 24 (1), pp. 150-167
ISSN : 1076-9307
Research Group : FiBRe
Research Institute : Finance and Banking Research Group (FiBRe)
Peer Reviewed : Yes