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Basel II and Developing Countries

Diversification and Portfolio Effects

Miguel Segoviano, Stephen Spratt, Stephany Griffith-Jones

Paper  150kb pdf

This paper will present the results of empirical work that we have undertaken to address the first point detailed above. We suggested in our most recent paper on this subject that one reason why capital requirements under the new proposals could be inappropriately high for developing and emerging economies, is that the benefits of international diversification are not taken into account. We suggested that, if it could be demonstrated that the correlation between developed/developed country lending was higher than that between developed/developing, then a case could be made that an internationally diversified loan portfolio, with a range of developed and developing country borrowers, would have a lower level of risk – in terms of the overall portfolio – than one which focused primarily on developed country lending. If this is, in fact, the case, then it would be possible – and certainly desirable – for the Basel Committee to incorporate the benefits of international diversification into the new Accord.

About the Authors

Miguel Angel Segoviano
Monetary and Capital Markets Department
International Monetary Fund

Stephen Spratt
Globalization Team
Institute of Development Studies

Dr Stephen Spratt's research interests relate to development finance, financial sector reform and regulation, socially responsible investment (SRI), the emerging climate change financing architecture and the intersection between these issues. Professionally, he has been Head of the Sustainable Markets Group at IIED, Research Director at the New Economics Foundation and a Lecturer in international finance and development at the University of Reading. He has also worked in the private sector in the City of London, as Head of Research at Intelligence Capital Limited, Senior Investment analyst with Global Asset Management Limited and a Visiting Fellow in the Global Research Department at State Street Bank & Trust.

Stephen holds a BA from the University of East Anglia, an MSc from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and a DPhil from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.

Stephany Griffith-Jones
Financial Markets Program Director
Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)

Stephany Griffith-Jones is an economist specialising in international finance and development, with emphasis on reform of the international and national financial system, especially in relation to financial regulation and global governance. She is Financial Markets Director at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University. Previously she was Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University. She was Director of International Finance at the Commonwealth Secretariat and worked at UN DESA and ECLAC. She was senior consultant to governments in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa and many international agencies, including the World Bank, the IADB, the European Commission, UNDP and UNCTAD. She was a member of the Warwick Commission on financial regulation. She currently is theme leader on finance in the ESRC /DFID growth programme for LICs, especially African ones. She has published over 20 books and many scholarly and journalistic articles. Her books include Time for the Visible Hand, Lessons from the 2008 crisis, edited jointly with José Antonio Ocampo and Joseph Stiglitz.

Publication Information

Type Network Paper
Program Capital Market Liberalization
Posted 12/01/02
Download 150kb pdf
# Pages 22