Asian Review of Financial Research

pISSN: 1229-0351
eISSN: 2713-6531

Journal Abbreviation : ARFR
Frequency : four times a year
Doi Prefix : 10.37197
ISSN : 1229-0351 (Print) / 2713-6531(Online)
Year of Launching : 1988
Publisher : The Korean Finance Association
Indexed/Tracked/Covered By : National Research Foundation of Korea, NRF

Announcements

more... If your paper written in English is accepted for the publication at the Asian Review of Financial Research (ARFR), we will provide you with the fund of 2,500 USD (or 3,000,000 won) per paper for your future research. We hope you consider publishing your valuable research at the ARFR. (Editor, ARFR)

Volume.33 No.2 May 2020

The Geography of International Mutual Funds

Young K. Park,Inwook Song

Asian Review of Financial Research
Vol.33 No.2 pp.181-200

Abstract
The Geography of International Mutual Funds ×

We investigate how geographic locations of international mutual funds affect fund performance and investment behavior for both emerging and developed markets. Using one- and three-factor alphas, we find that local funds outperform remote ones especially in emerging markets. However, under the four-factor alpha, they tend to underperform. A plausible explanation is that the excess returns for local fund man-agers are attributable to momentum and thus disappear when this is controlled. Regarding trading behavior, we compare herding among same or local-region versus different or remote-region fund managers. We find that fund trades correlate more with trades of other funds in the same (local) regions than with those in different (remote) regions. This phenomenon is more profound in the case of emerging markets. This finding is consistent with the networking (word-of-mouth) effect among investors. We also find that local funds exhibit more market timing behavior but are less active in stock picking. The result suggests that local managers are more affected by market sentiment and therefore their trading is more affected by market move-ments whereas remote fund managers focus more on stock fundamentals. This is the first study to test the relation between the international fund performance and geography and contributes to the literature on funds and international investments.

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Defined Benefit Corporate Pension Planning and Agency Problems : Does Good Governance Improve the Funding Ratio?

Young Sik Kim;Jung Bum Wee

Asian Review of Financial Research
Vol.33 No.2 pp.201-244

Abstract
Defined Benefit Corporate Pension Planning and Agency Problems : Does Good Governance Improve the Funding Ratio? ×

Managers are motivated to keep the funding ratio of a firm's defined benefit (DB) pension plan from reaching its optimal level. This phenomenon can be explained by agency theory, which suggests that agency costs can be mitigated by a good governance structure. This study analyzes the effect of a firm's corporate governance on the funding of its defined benefit corporate pension plan. The funding ratio is measured as the ratio of the current value of the plan's assets over the pension benefit obligations (PBO). The sample includes 478 companies listed on the Korea Composite Stock Price Index from 2006 to 2018. The results indicate that firms with better governance tend to have higher funding ratios. As South Korea lacks mandatory regulations requiring firms to keep their pension funding ratio above a minimum level, firms can keep their ratio low. Good governance implies that a manager is required to maintain a higher ratio. In addition, sub-structures of governance, defined as components constituting the overall governance, have a meaningful relationship with the funding ratio. Important sub-structures include the ownership structure, the board of directors, and the labor union. This study has the following findings. First, a firm's pension ratio increases with its corporate governance index. This result is stronger after controlling for the size of the firm. An implication of this finding is that good governance mitigates the agency problems of outside equity and debt, increases the funding ratio, and enhances firm value. Second, a firm's pension funding ratio increases with the managers' share-holding ratio. This result suggests that the managers decide to accumulate more pension assets as their interests become better aligned with those of shareholders. Thus, the ownership structure is an important component of the governance structure in that it affects the corporate pension policy. This paper also investigates the influence of outside shareholders on the funding ratio. Active outside shareholders are expected to monitor managers and mitigate the managerial incentive problem. The funding ratio increases with the foreign investor share ratio, which is a proxy for the extent of the alignment of interests between the managers and the outside shareholders. A fourth finding is that the funding ratio increases as the proportion of outside directors on the board increases after controlling for a nonlinear term. This result implies that firms are more active in accumulating pension assets if their board of directors are independent of the managers and so are more able to successfully mitigate the agency problem. Fifth, this paper measures the bargaining power of labor unions by looking at their affiliation with a nation-wide umbrella organization. A direct measure of labor'sthe bargaining power of labor, such as whether an individual firm has a labor union, is not practical, as almost all firms have labor unions. Affiliation with an umbrella union does not improve the funding ratio. SEuch an affiliation either fails to help the union enhance its bargaining power or it leads the union to engage in political issues instead of benefittingsupporting employees. These results are tested for robustness by adopting various specifications of the primary regression model. The alternative specifications include using alternative measure of the funding ratio, introducing lagged independent variables, controlling for endogeneity, performing sub-sample analyses, and using the funding ratio in excess of the relevant yearly industry average as the dependent variable. In South Korea, firms appear to have an incentive to underfund their defined benefit pension plan in the absence of mandatory regulation on the minimum funding level. This study suggest that better corporate governance mitigates various types of agency problems and thereby enhances firm value as a result of higher pension funding levels. In future work, it would be worthwhile to conducting a comprehensive study of the optimal level of pension funding. In general, if a firm's pension funding level is too low, thereit may experiencebe agency problems or financial constraints at the firm; if a firm's pension funding is above the optimal level, the its cash is being used inefficiently. An in-depth analysis of the labor union factors likely to be overlooked in corporate governance would also be beneficial. Studies could also examineing the relationship between corporate governance and pension asset management. There is growing controversy regarding the reasons behind the persistently dominant holding of interest-guaranteed assets over other types of assets by defined benefit pension plans. Researchers should also examine the introduction of a fund-type pension plan in addition to a contract-type pension plan, which is currently being discussed in South Koreais .

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A Comparison of Domestic and Overseas P2P Platforms : Lender Decision Factors

Junghoon Seon;Sukman Han

Asian Review of Financial Research
Vol.33 No.2 pp.245-278

Abstract
A Comparison of Domestic and Overseas P2P Platforms : Lender Decision Factors ×

P2P lending has emerged as an alternative financing tool, complementing existing financial systems by allowing investments and loans without collateral or guarantees through an online brokerage platform. By reducing the cost of financial transactions, P2P increases the efficiency of financial markets. This paper investigates how the investment information provided by a P2P lending platform affects the investment decisions for small business loans. Small business P2P loans play an important role in alternative financing for small businesses with financial constraints and difficulties obtaining loans from traditional financial institutions. We collect data from 2007 to 2017 on investment amount per capita and investment information for four P2P lending platforms: Lending Club in the U.S., Funding Circles in the U.K., and Eight Percent and Funda in South Korea. re The regression analysis yieldsare two main findings. First, the investment amount per capita increases when (a) the loan application amount is larger, (b) the loan period is shorter, or (c) the number of investors is smaller. T; this finding holds on all platforms. Second, how the investment amount per person changes with the loan interest rate depends on the type of platform. In a posted-price platform, which matches borrowers' capital demands with investors' funds at a predetermined interest rate (as is the case with Landing Club, Eight Percent, and Funda), the higher the interest rate, the higher the per capita investment. In contrast, on platforms such as Funding Circle, which is an auction platform wherein the loan interest rate and theloan amount are determined through an auction, the investment amount per person decreases as the loan interest rate increases, perhaps because investors interpret high interest rates as a sign of high risk. The regression analysis involving borrower information shows that Landing Club's business period information, Funda's business type information, and Eight Percent's loan objective information have statistical significance in determining the loan amount. In addition, the financial information on each platform and the credit-related information on Landing Club, such as bankruptcy information and overdue information, significantly influence the decisions on the investment amount per person. These results demonstrate the importance of providing investors with reliable borrower information to help them make investment decisions by reducing information asymmetry problems. These findings suggest that the financial constraints of low-credit borrowers can be reduced and financial efficiency improved by having more investors participate in P2P lending. The development directions of the domestic P2P lending market identified in this study are as follows. Most domestic P2P lending platforms are small. Their loans tend to beinvolve short-terms, and involveto comprise more real estate loans than business loans. Most platforms need to improve their lending field by focusing on credit lending rather than mortgage lending. The domestic P2P lending market is still too small for financial resource allocation. There is a need to improve the participation of institutional investors who can contribute to the growth of the P2P lending market. BecauseAs most domestic P2P loan platforms are small, it is necessary to support the growth of large specialized platforms designed to improve financing efficiency and investor protection. For domestic P2P lending to evolve into a viable alternative financing venue, platforms must develop their own credit risk assessment models and provide borrowers' financial and credit information to enhance trust. Domestic P2P lending platforms must provide reliable information about borrowers' credit, as is done by Lending Club. Providing high-quality investment information to P2P lenders reduces the information asymmetry between borrowers and investors and improves the efficiency of the P2P lending market. To develop the domestic small business P2P lending market, the government should incentivize P2P lending investment and develop the legal basis for investment protection and investment activation. The results in this paper provide a useful basis for improving investment decisions in P2P lending markets and supporting the role of an intermediary in the platform. This study is unique in that it examines the factors influencing investment information from an investor's perspective, a gap in the literature caused by a lack of public data. This empirical study focuses on the factors affecting the investment in domestic P2P lending platforms by comparing these platforms with P2P lending platforms in the United States and the United Kingdom. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to compare the impact of investment information on investment decisions in Landing Club, Funding Circle, Eight Percent, and Funda, which act as P2P lending platforms providing small business credit.

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An Optimal Separation Lapse Policy for Internet Banking : The Share-Holding Limit and Credit Exposure Constraint

Song, Sooyoung;Yang, Chae-Yeol

Asian Review of Financial Research
Vol.33 No.2 pp.279-300

Abstract
An Optimal Separation Lapse Policy for Internet Banking : The Share-Holding Limit and Credit Exposure Constraint ×

In the financial industry, many transactions are doneperformed covertly to secure an information advantage over competitors in the market. Trading also demands expertise in risk management and the valuation of the assets under consideration to determine which trades will create value for investors. BecauseAs information asymmetries contribute to profitability, iesthey are intentionally sought by asset managers, meaning that purposefully created information asymmetries are unavoidable and likely to persist within the financial market. It is tthatTherefore, the government must regulate the financial industry more stringently than other industries, such as technology-based manufacturing industries. Moreover, the intensity of separation between banks and other businesses is impacted by the extent of implicit information asymmetries, because the soundness of the finance industry can be severely injured by the very existence of information asymmetries. Being able to distinguish between the positive effects of information asymmetries, which should be encouraged, and the negative impacts of information asymmetries, which should be prohibited, is more important than ever before. This paper investigates this distinction through the regulations set up by of the government. The regulation of the finance industry goes back to the era of laissez-faire capitalism, when the 1907 financial panic resulted in the establishment of the U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve System. In the aftermath of the Great Depression, financial regulation cul-minated in the Banking Act of 1933, also known as the Glass Steagall Act, which separated Wall Street (banking) from Mmain Sstreet (commerce). Fewer than ten years after the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act by the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Great Recession broke out in 2008. As the economy recovers, although with a lower growth rate, and with the development and deployment of information technology such as artificial intelligence, there is again pressure to deregulate but in a different context. The emergence of Iinternet only banks poses a quite different but daunting challenge to the conventional notion of the separation of banking and commerce. Internet only banks foster competition within the banking industry, which has become more oligopolistic in the aftermath of the Great Recession. As these entrants require huge investments in the technical infrastructure to operate properly through the Internet while offering banking services, the traditional regulation of share-holding limits, which has worked effectively since 1933, faces an apparent obstacle. To promote the resilience and reinvigoration of the banking industry, the Korean government lifted its share-holding limit regulation and opened a path for funds from the information and communications technology (ICT) industry sto participate in the share ownership in the banking sector in 2015. This was, a step in the right direction. However, non-ICT investors are still banned from the banking industry. In the meantime, non-ICT industry capital can still participate in the Iinternet banking sector indirectly, either through ownership build-up in an ICT firm or by mimicking an ICT firm under the guise of the ICT industry, circumventing the ban effectively. The new investors in the Internet banking industry demand a further relaxation in share ownership, leading to a call for scrutiny of whether further deregulation promotes competition in the banking industry and enhances the soundness of the financial industry. Desirable self-selection is an important goal, and good quality Internet bank applicants should be allowed to acquire Internet banking licenses while bad quality applicants should not. There is considerable concern as to whether the government's current revision of the rule banning non-ICT investors from controlling Internet banks could lead to a sustainable separating equilibrium. This paper addresses this point and focuses on the adverse selection problem due to information asymmetries over the quality of prospective participants in the banking industry. The current combination of rules such as the share-holding limit and the loan concentration ratio could open the path to a desirable situation. As the lifting of the share-holding limit is accompanied by credit exposure control (particularly for the loan concentration ratio), it is possible that the ban benefits both Iinternet only banking participants and the government in light of the expected outlay in the case of a bailout due to non-performing loans. The paper demonstrates with a simple theoretical setup that a welfare enhancing outcome is within reach despite the separation lapse after we control the loan concentration ratio while allowing for greater ownership of Iinternet only banks by the ICT industry. This resultfinding will beis of great use to policy makers as they consider the implementation of new rules.

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재무연구 편집위원회 운영내규 외

한국재무학회

Asian Review of Financial Research
Vol.33 No.2 pp.301-310

Abstract
재무연구 편집위원회 운영내규 외 ×

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