WPS 1886
POLIcy RESEARCH WORKING PAPER 1886
Country Funds and Data on country funds
support the hypothesis of
Asymmetric Information asymmetric information: that
the holders of underlying
assets have more information
Jeffrey A. Franlkel
about local assets than the
Sergio L. Scbrn uk/er
country fund holders do.
The World Bank
Development Research Group
Macroeconomics and Growth
February 1998
POLICY RESEARCH WORKING PAPER 1886
Summary findings
Using data on country funds, Frankel and Schmukler country fund holders receive the information and those
study how differential access to information affects prices react after NAVs have reacted. The 1995 Mexican
international investment. crisis and the 1997 Asian crisis are two examples of this
They find that past changes in net asset values (NAVs) type of behavior.
and discounts predict current country fund prices more These findings are consistent with the hypothesis of
commonly than prices and discounts predict NAVs. The asymmetric information, according to which the holders
price (NAV) adjustment coefficients are low and of the uinderlying assets have more information about
negatively correlated with the local (foreign) market local assets than the country fund holders do.
variability - but not with the fund price (NAV) Fran kel and Schmukler empirically test the asymmetric
variability. information hypothesis against the noise traders
NAVs seem to be closer to local information. They are hypothesis. A theoretical model is presented in the
the asset prices that react first to local news. Later the appendix.
This paper -a product of Macroeconomics and Growth, Development Research Group - is part of a larger effort in the
group to understand how international financial markets work. Copies of the paper are available free from the World Bank,
1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20433. Please contact Rebecca Martin, room MC3-354, telephone 202-473-9065,
fax 202-522-3518, Internet address rmartinl@worldbank.org. February 1998. (31 pages)
The Policy Research Work og Paper Series disseminates the fndings of work in progress to encourage the exchange of ideas about
development Issues. An objective of the series is to get the findings out quickly, ?ven if the presentationls are less than fully polished. The
papers carry the names of the authors and should be cited accordingly. The findinigs, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this
paper are entirely those of the authors. They do not necessarily represent the viewo of the World Bank, its Executive Directors, or the
countries they represent.
Produced by the Policy Research Dissemination Center
COUNTRY FUNDS AND ASYMMETRIC INFORMATION'
Jeffrey A. Frankel
University of California at Berkeley
and
Sergio L. Schmukler
The World Bank
JEL Classification Numbers: F30, GI1, G14, G15
Keywords: asymmetric information; country funds; closed-end funds; noise traders;
cointegration; error-correction model; exogeneity; currency crises; emerging markets.
We received encouragement and helpful comments from George Akerlof, Bob Anderson, David Bowman, Menzie
Chinn, Brad De Long, Barry Eichengreen, Neil Ericsson, Charlie Kramer, Mico Loretan, Rich Lyons, Sole Martinez
Peria, Artur Parente, Tom Rothenberg, and Maury Obstfeld. Fruitful suggestions were received from seminar
participants at the following places: Brandeis University, Emory University, the Inter-American Development Bank,
Rice University, Tufts University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champain,
University Pompeu Fabra, and the World Bank Research Department. We are responsible for any remaining errors.
The data were kindly provided by Don Cassidy, of Lipper Analytical Services, and Thierry Wizman. The Comisi6n
Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas from Argentina provided financial support to Sergio Schmukler.
Address: The World Bank, Development Research Group, 1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20433. E-mail
address: sschmukler@worldbank.org.
The new trends in international capital markets, namely securitization and globalization, have made
global investment more accessible to all investors. Nowadays, investors who wish to internationally
diversify their portfolio, but who have no specific knowledge of particular industries or firms, can
acquire shares of closed-end and open-end country and regional funds. These funds invest primarily
in equities from a specific country or region. The fund manager decides the portfolio of the fund,
and investors only become aware of the assets they hold at certain points in time--when the fund
manager reports the fund composition.
Country fund holders trade most of their shares in Wall Street at the country fund price. The
net asset value (NAV) is the dollar value of the underlying assets, which are individually traded in
each domestic market. The discount, equal to the percentage difference between the NAV and the
price, reflects how the holders of the individual shares value their assets relative to the country fund
holders.
In a perfectly efficient and internationally integrated market, discounts would be equal to zero-
-since NAVs and country fund prices are two market values of the same assets. However, since the
shares of closed-end country funds cannot be redeemed, perfect arbitrage becomes practically
impossible. Therefore, discounts can diverge from zero. In fact, country fund discounts are large
and variable even for large liquid funds traded in developed capital markets. For instance, it is not
uncommon to find average discounts of around 15 percent for country funds like the German ones,
the French funds, the United Kingdom Fund, the First Australian Fund, and the Mexico Fund.
In this paper we exploit the fact that country fund discounts are different from zero to study
the existence of asymmetric information in international capital markets. The asymmetric
information approach is appealing in several respects. On the theoretical side, asymmetric
information implies that country funds trade at positive discounts. Rational country fund holders
1
internalize the fact that they know little about each remote country or region, so they are willing to
pay less than relatively well-informed domestic investors for the same assets. Moreover, asymmetric
information also explains the interaction between NAVs, funcd prices, and discounts. The variable
that contains more information (the NAV or the fund price) will tend to predict the other variable.
The speed of adjustment will be determined by the amount of information contained in the variables.
This paper tests the asymmetric information hypothesis, by computing exogeneity tests for
most of European, Latin American, and Pacific Rim country funds based in the U.S..1 We test
whether the NAV, the price, or both adjust to the long-run and to the short-run relationships
between NAVs and prices. In other words, we investigate which variable appears to be exogenous
(or predicted only by its own past): the NAV or the price. The results are obtained by estimating
error-correction models for each fund by full-information maximum likelihood (following Johansen,
1988, and Johansen and Juselius, 1990).
In a second stage, the paper tests whether there is a statistically significant relationship
between the NAV-price adjustment coefficients and the variability of NAVs and fund prices. The
asymmetric information model predicts that more noise in the "external market" reduces the
adjustment coefficients. In other words, the less noise NAVs contain the faster prices react to
changes in NAVs--when NAVs are closer to fundamentals. On the other hand, the "noise traders
model" (which provides an alternative explanation of discounts) predicts that more noise in the New
York market reduces the adjustment of prices to NAVs. Noise traders in New York disconnect
prices from NAVs (namely, from fundamentals). This paper tests which model is supported by the
data.
The remainder of the paper is organized as follows. Section I summarizes the existing
literature on country fund discounts. Sections II tests the asymmetric information hypothesis.
2
Section III introduces applications of asymmetric information. The theoretical model is presented in
the appendix section.
I. Average Discounts--The Rationale Behind Them
As mentioned above, country funds are known to trade at high and variable average discounts. In
other words, the prices at which country funds trade are in general lower than their Net Asset
Values. Part A of Table I shows summary results from a sample of 61 country funds based in New
York. The table demonstrates that, when statistically different from zero, mean discounts tend to be
positive. Discounts are significantly positive for around 82 percent, 42 percent, and 53 percent of
the European, Latin American, and the Pacific Rim funds respectively. On the other hand, discounts
are significantly negative for only 12 percent, 25 percent, and 28 percent of the funds.2 Average
positive discounts can be observed in Figure 1 as well, which plots two representative funds from
each region. The Korea Fund is an unusual case, where a premium persisted for a long time. This
fund was the only channel for foreigners to invest in Korean equities, so the demand for its shares
was high. When other instruments like new Korean funds became available, the Korean Fund
premia declined.3
The cross-regional differences can be explained by the fact that most of the country funds
started trading in the late 1980s and early 1990s. During the 1990s, the international community has
been mostly optimistic about emerging markets in Asia and Latin America. Favored by low U.S.
interest rates, international capital flowed toward these markets. Part of these flows were channeled
through country funds. For instance, Claessens and Rhee (1994) show that new country funds
account for 25 percent of the equity flows to developing countries over the 1989-1993 period.
3
TABLE I
SAMPLE OF 61 FUNDS, 114185-318196
PART A:
PERCENTAGE OF DISCOUNT MEANS, SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT FROM ZERO*
NUMBER DISCOUNT=
OF 100*1og(NAV/Price)
FUNDS POSITIVE NEGATIVE
EUROPE 17 82% 12%
LATIN AMERICA 12 42% 25%
PACIFIC RIM 32 53% 28%
+ The results are computed at a 5% significance level.Details are tabulated in Tables A1.2.
PART B:
DISCOUNT SUMMARY STATISTICS FOR EACH REGION"
NUMBER MEAN MEDIAN STD. DEV. MAXIMUM MINIMUM
OF DISCOUNT DISCOUNT OF DISCOUNT DISCOUNT
OBSERV. DISCOUNTS
EUROPE 5646 8.6 11.3 13.8 50 -89
LATIN AMERICA 3163 4.3 3.4 15.6 83 -54
PACIFIC RIM 7439 -0.5 1.4 17.5 54 -94
All available observations for each region are used to calculate the summary statistics. Summary statistics by fund are displayed in Tables Al .2
FIGURE 1
SIX REPRESENTATIVE COUNTRY FUND DISCOUNTS
I 0 Italy Fund Discount 3 Swiss Helvetia Fund Discount
601 30
40 20 A iO
20 AN('VTU L If k Ih $~
(0(0(0(0 0)0)0)0) 0) ~ ~ ~ ,4 0 c 0
-20 ( 0m- I | 0 ) N v v_ _ _ _ __co__ C_ _ 1 _l
-40 20
Chile Fund Discount Mexico Fund Discount
40- 100
200 C
-40 -50
Korea Fund Discount 1 [ Malaysia Fund Discount
20 100
t 4°o' %80 $ a) Nts0F{s 50 A t_;~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5
20
-60 -50 0
-10 _-100
Therefore, the fact that a higher proportion of European funds trade at positive discounts (when
compared with funds from the other regions) is not surprising. Optimistic U.S. investors probably
pushed up the price of the country funds from emerging economies--relative to the value of their
underlying assets--and discounts shrank over that period.
When all the observations are taken jointly, Part B of Table I and Figure 2 show that
discounts are positive for Europe and Latin America but not for Asia. The histogram for Europe is
somewhat skewed to the right, showing that discounts tend to be positive except for some
observations that display large premia. The histogram for Asia is similar but it is more centered on
zero. Long left tails are consistent with large premia around the initial public offering and with
optimistic sentiments, in particular around the time of the fall oif the Berlin Wall in 1989 and in the
period of strong capital inflows to emerging Asian economies. The histogram for Latin America
presents both long left and right tails, implying optimistic and pessimistic sentiments with respect to
these countries.
These large and variable discounts have been rationalized in the literature in two separate
ways. The first one claims that transaction costs and market segmentation impose obstacles to
arbitrage. Therefore, NAVs and prices can differ from each other. In light of these barriers, Frankel
and Schmukler (1996) summarize a set of possible "arbitrage strategies" intended to take advantage
of the NAV-price difference. We conclude that, despite large discounts, there is no pure arbitrage
strategy that can be easily followed. Closed-end funds do not admit share redemptions. Therefore,
investors cannot treat the country fund shares as identical to the basket of underlying assets. In a
frictionless world, a rational arbitrageur could buy the country fund and sell short its underlying
assets whenever the fund traded at discount. However, closed-end funds are not meant to be open,
so short selling is difficult. Moreover, different types of transaction costs--like management fees,
4
FIGURE 2
HISTOGRAMS OF COUNTRY FUND DISCOUNTS+
European Fund Discounts
300
250
>, 200
150
0*
50 -
0
0) y 0) (1) CD (N N _ C° O U) 0 tD ) N N ( C 6 LO CDO cn CD
Bin
Latin American Discounts
160
120
U100
60
40
20
0 . ... . ..... I.A ,1- ,1,111. ......... . .b .....lllllll lllW
OD CO N (O LO c nrcND CO c(n rN O tO 1- t ) c n
Bin
Pacific Rim Discounts
250
200
150
100
U.
50
't00CN (ND LO0) () 0 (NDOC0)NN rC - N(30)0
0)CDCDNr-CDLt) CO~~C~) (N-- ~ ~N ( CO)~ U)
Binj
Histograms are construsted using all the observations available for each fund in each region.
non-simultaneous trading, assets denominated in different; currencies, and barriers to capital
movement--impose additional obstacles to arbitrage. These transaction costs have been theoretically
and empirically studied in Stulz (1981), Diwan, Errunza, and Senbet (1993), Errunza and Losq
(1985), Bonser-Neal, Brauer, Neal, and Wheatley (1990), and Rogers (1994).
Other papers explain the existence of positive discounts due to the participation of noise
traders in international capital markets.4 This literature claims that a different clientele, composed by
both rational and irrational agents, holds country funds. By contrast, only rational investors hold the
underlying assets. Country funds are riskier than the underlying assets, because future changes in
noise traders misperceptions cannot be fully predicted. In a world of risk-averse investors, the price
of the country fund will be lower than the NAV. Among the papers that relate this theory to
domestic closed-end funds are Lee, Shleifer, and Thaler (1991), and Chen, Kan, and Miller (1993).
Other papers like Hardouvelis, La Porta, and Wizman (1994), and Klibanoff, Lamont, and Wizman
(1996) look at the presence of noise traders among country fund holders.
This paper introduces asymmetric information into the discussion about country fund
discounts. Asymmetric information has been widely treated in the finance and related literature.
Some examples include Akerlof (1970), Grossman and Stiglitz (1980), French and Poterba (1991),
Lang, Litzenberger, and Madrigal (1992), and Gehrig (1993). Asymmetric information can show up
in different ways. First, domestic investors may have access to locally available information, that
foreign investors do not receive. Perhaps foreign investors can obtain the same information, but
must bear an extra cost to get it. Second, domestic investors may have the same information, but
interpret it in a different way. Third, there may be leaks in information, and domestic investors are
able to obtain it first. Fourth, country fund holders might lack information on how the fund is being
managed.
5
Even though there is an information disadvantage, global investment may still look attractive
as a consequence of high expected returns and diversification benefits (especially from emerging
markets). Small uninformed investors may be more attracted to buy country funds than the
underlying assets, since transaction costs are far lower. Also, they know that country fund managers
are generally more informed than they are about the country, and can allocate the portfolio of assets
more wisely. As a consequence, small international investors will prefer country funds to purchase
local securities.
This paper claims that "foreign investors"--small international investors--realize that they are
less informed than "domestic investors"--local and big foreign investors--when buying other
countries' equities. Foreign investors know that they will do worse on average when investing
abroad with respect to domestic residents. As a consequence, other things equal, foreign investors
are willing to pay less for the same assets, and average positive discounts are observed. The effects
of introducing asymmetric information are formally presented in the Appendix.
The idea of asymmetric information differs from the noise traders model, in which country
fund. holders randomly overestimate or underestimate future returns on foreign investment. In this
paper, foreign investors are rational agents who try to assess the best forecast of future retums.
However, since they are far away from the market in which they invest, they face higher
uncertainty. In other words, due to asymmetric information, foreign investors have a "higher
subjective variance" than domestic investors--even though their average forecast is unbiased. They
perceive investment in a foreign country as being riskier than domestic investors do.
This paper concentrates only on country funds. The same idea can be applied to domestic
closed-end country funds, where most of the previous literature has focused. Small investors are the
ones that usually buy domestic closed-end funds, since--compared with large investors--they have
6
less information about particular firms and industries. Therefore., asymmetric information might also
explain discounts in domestic funds. Nevertheless, the information asymmetry is likely to show up
more clearly in the case of closed-end country funds given that the underlying assets are located in
distant countries. 5
II. Empirical Testing
Asymmetric information yields three testable empirical implications. First, discounts tend to be
positive on average. Second, past large discounts and NAVs help to predict current country fund
prices. Third, the adjustment coefficients are negatively correlated with the presence of noise in the
other markets. We already showed in Table I that discounts are in general greater than zero for
most of the funds. In this section, we empirically analyze the other two implications of our
hypothesis.
7
A. Testing for Exogeneity in NAVs and Prices
In this subsection, we try to determine which variable tends to be exogenous: the NAV or the fund
price. In other words, we study whether lagged short-run changes in NAVs and prices are
significant in explaining current changes in each variable, and which variable is the one that adjusts
to the long-run NAV-price relationship. We expect that the variable that comprises more
information about the fundamental values of the assets is the one that tends to be exogenous with
respect to the other variable. If NAVs are closer to changes in fundamentals, they will tend to react
first. Thus future price changes will be predicted by present NAV changes. If prices are the ones
closer to fundamentals, the opposite relationship will hold. In summary, we investigate whether
NA.Vs tend to predict prices more often than prices tend to predict NAVs.
Exogeneity of NAVs and prices needs to be analyzed in the context of non-stationarity. Our
previous results show that most country fund NAVs and prices are I(1), integrated of order 1 6
Except for some European and Asian funds, we are not able to reject non-stationarity. Moreover,
we computed unit root tests for the variables in first differences; non-stationarity is widely rejected.
Even though NAVs and prices seem to be non-stationary, we expect that the variables do not
diverge without bound from each other. Country fund NAVs and prices are ultimately two different
values of the same assets, so they tend to move together in the long run. In econometric terms, we
expect to find cointegration between the variables. Specifically, NAVs and prices may be linked by a
stationary (linear) long-run relationship Pg = ir+X N,+E, where the mean-zero error term £ is
stationary, &4~(O).
Frankel and Schmukler (1997) reports the Johansen (1988), and Johansen and Juselius (1990)
tests for each fund. The results vary across regions, but we find a number of cases in which the
presence of one cointegrating vector cannot be rejected. For 8 out of 17 funds we cannot reject
8
cointegration among European funds. For 4 out of 12 funds there is evidence of cointegration in
Latin Amnerican funds. In the case of Asia, cointegration is not rejected for 17 out of 32 funds. We
also test for stationarity once the cointegrating vectors are constrained to be (1, -1). For almost all
of the cases, the tests reject non-stationarity in discounts.
The fact that there is cointegration is in itself interesting since it confirms the a-priori
economic intuition that there is a long-run equilibrium relationship linking country fund NAVs and
prices. We can obtain more information from the cointegration tests. For example, 65 percent of the
European fund, 66 percent of the Latin American funds, and 47 percent of the Pacific Basin funds
cannot reject that the fitted Xs are 1. That means that shocks to NAVs (prices) are entirely
transmitted to prices (NAVs) in the long run. This finding also confirms our economic intuition,
which says that changes in the value of the underlying asseits (country fund) will eventually be
entirely reflected in the corresponding country fund price (NAV).
Given that the variables are non-stationary, usual Granger-causality tests of the variables in
levels--exogeneity tests in the vector-autoregression (VAR) framework--do not yield statistics that
follow standard distributions. On the other hand, VAR processes in first differences omit important
information contained in the long-run relationship, and consequently may have specification biases.
Nevertheless, both the short-run and the long-run dynamics are embedded in the error-correction
model (ECM). The first differences of NAVs and prices are related to the one-period lagged
cointegrating vector, and to lagged first differences of both variables,
L L
AP, = a, +a1(PI] -ff-ANt)+YZr1iAAfi +± 8l1i&PA i +vt
i= (1)
L L
tI 22 2(PI- t- t-I) E Y2i-i +E 2iAN_i t
9
We estimate the entire model (1) by full-information maximum likelihood (FIML). In this way,
we can simultaneously obtain estimates for 7t and X, along with estimates for the other parameters
of the model. Representative results from the FIML procedure are displayed in Table II. Large
fundls from each of the three regions are chosen. We select funds with a long history, which are not
affected by particular optimism around a recent IPO.7 Fitted Xs with their standard errors are
displayed in the first two columns of Table II.
The rest of Table II tabulates exogeneity tests. Weak exogeneity tests--with respect to the
parameters 7t and A--are computed by looking at the adjustment toward the long-run relationship.
Given that there is cointegration, either the NAV, the fund price, or both respond to deviations in
the long-run relationship. A significant fitted al (a2) means that the price (NAV) adjusts to changes
in the cointegration relationship.8 Table II also displays the point estimates of a, and a2, since
besides their statistical significance their size is also interesting.
Our results show that significant a,s are greater than significant a2s. Significant aXls range
from values as low as 2 percent for the Korea Fund, and as high as 28 percent for the Templeton
Vietnam Fund. Significant a2s range from values as low as 3 percent for the India Growth Fund,
and as high as 13 percent for the Jardine Fleming India Fund. These coefficients imply half lives for
prices that go from less than 2 weeks to 18 weeks, and half lives for NAVs that go from more than
3 weeks to 18 weeks. The average significant al (a2) is -0.11 (0.075).9 They suggest that the
adjustments are relatively slow, but higher in absolute value for prices than for NAVs. One could
argue that these results support the asymmetric information hypothesis. Prices react more to
changes in past discounts because deviations from the long-run equilibrium convey more
information for prices than for NAVs.
10
TABLE II
FULL-INFORMATION MAXIMUM LIKELIHOOD ESTIMATION RESULTS
THE CASE OF 6 REPRESENTATIVE FUNDS (2 FOR EACH REGION)*
EXOGENEITY TESTS (WALD STATISTICS) AND NORMALIZED COINTEGRATING VECTORS
4 LAGS - SAMPLE 114185-3/8196
FITTED FITTED LONG-RUN ADJUSTMENT (Weak Exogeneity) SHORT-RUN ADJUSMENT GRANGER-NONCAUSALITY(strong Exogeneity)
LAMBDA STAND. Chi-Squared (1) Chi-Squared (2) Chi-Sauared(3)
EUROPEAN FUNDS: ID No. OBS. ERROR HO:alphal=O alphal HO: alpha2=0 alpha2 HO:gammal1=0 HO gamma2'=O HO:alpha1 & gamma1'=0 HO: alpha2 & gamma2'=0
ITALYFUND ITA 499 0.87 0.165 6.32 --0.050_ 2.56 0.021 11.10 1.60 19.08 ... 5.46
SWISSHELVETIAFU SWZ 443 0.97 0.082 5.49 -0.076 1.07 0.019 31.81 1.41 48.11 - 2.87
LATIN AMERICAN FUNDS:
CHILE FUND CH 332 0.93 0.082 9.35 -0.083 2.46 -0.027 22.78 5.20 37.94 - 6.75
MEXICO FUND MXF 555 1.18 0.046 1.12 -0.027 7.38 *- 0.051 18.74 8.03 * 25.41 - 26.89
PACIFIC RIM FUNDS: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
KOREA FUND KF 584 0.69 0.306 4.37 -0.023 0.16 -0.002 19.13 8.74 24.17 8.74
MALAYSIA FUND MF 453 1.09 0.116 13.04 ^ -0.085 0.19 -0.007 6.73 40.34 26.42 ^41.2
'All the results are tabulated in Tables A4 and AS.
'('), [] Implies significance at 10%, (5%), [1%).
Table II also reports tests regarding the short-run adjustment. These tests look at whether the
set of fitted y1 and Y2 are jointly zero. A vector yi (Y2) different from zero means that current fund
prices (NAVs) adjust to past changes in NAVs (prices). Finally, Table II displays statistics that test
whlich variable is "strongly exogenous:" the NAV, the price, or both. We call "strong exogeneity"
or "Granger-noncausality" the cases when the fund NAV or price is explained only by its own past--
but not by the long-run equilibrium or by the recent history of the other variable. In other words,
the strong exogeneity test looks at whether cc, and y, (or c2 and Y2) are jointly zero.
We use different specifications to compute exogeneity tests in order to illustrate how results
vary across models. We are reluctant to work with only one model since we want to make sure that
our results are robust to various specifications. The exogeneity tests are computed from three
models. First, we assume that cointegration exists in all the funds, even when the tests failed to
detect it. Second, we do not include the long-run relationship for the cases where we failed to find
evicdence of cointegration. Third, we assume that none of the funds is cointegrated. For each model
we have tried several lag structures and restrictions on the variables; the case of 4 lags is reported
here.'0 Further lags are statistically insignificant and the results appear very robust to various lag
structures. In addition, the estimates do not tend to change across specifications when restrictions
on the long-run relationships are imposed."
Because the reader might be interested in a general conclusion rather than in particular
country funds, Table III summarizes all the results computed in Frankel and Schmukler (1997). The
table shows the percentage of funds for which NAVs and fund prices adjust to short-run and long-
run changes. In addition, Table III displays the median Wald statistic for each test across every
group of funds. The table shows that NAVs tend to be the exogenous variables. In other words,
past changes in NAVs help to explain present changes in prices but not otherwise. Moreover,
11
TABLE III
PERCENTAGE OF FUNDS FOR WHICH THEIR NAVS AND PRICES
REJECT EXOGENEITY AT A 5% SIGNIFICANCE LEVEL
FULL-INFORMATION MAXIMUM LIKELIHOOD ESTIMATION
4 LAGS - SAMPLE 141485-3/8/96
PART A: ASSUMES LONG-RUN ADJUSTMENT (Weak Exogeneity, w.e.)
COINTEGRATION HO: Prices Median Wald HO: NAVs Median Wald
Weakly Exog. Statistic Weakly Exog. Statistic
EUROPEAN FUNDS 65% 5* 6%0
LATIN AMERICAN FUNDS 25% 2.09 17 % 1.80
PACIFIC RIM FUNDS 50% 3.69* 1 28% 1.07
TOTAL 50% 3.91*T* 20% 1,15
SHORT-RUN ADJUSMENT
HO: Prices Median Wald HO: NAVs Median Wald
Do Not Adjust Statistic Do Not Adjust Statistic
EUROPEAN FUNDS 82%/ 16.80-w* 12%o52
LATIN AMERICAN FUNDS 67% 15.J77*** 17% 4.08
PACIFIC RIM FUNDS 46.50 22%6
TOTAL 5RMF7% 11.19** 18% 5
GRANCER-NONCAUSALITY (Srong Exogeneity, s.e.)
HO: Prices Median Wald HO: NAVs Median Walc
Strongly Exog. Statistic Strongly Exog. Statistic
LUROPEAN FUNDS 88% 32.284*** -245% 7429
ATIN AMERICAN FUNDS 83% 16,84*** 25% 6.34
PACIFIC RIM FUNDS 56% 11.58* 34% 9.86*
TOTAL 70% -- ' 18.'38*'*'* ' 30% 8.45
PART B: DOES NOT 1LONG-RUN ADJUSTMENT (Weak Exogeneity, w.e.)
ASSUME COINTEGRATION HO: Prices Median Wald HO: NAVs Median Wald
Weakly Exog. Statistic Weakly Exog. Statistic
EUROPEAN FUNDS 79j/o ' ' 6':46** 7% 0.89
LATIN AMERICAN FUNDS 38% 2.01 25% 3.15*
PACIFIC RIM FUNDS 59% 4.33** 33% 1.71
TOTAL 61% 4.46** _ 24% 1.76
SHORT-RUN ADJUSMENT
HO: Prices Median Wald r HR0:NVs Median Wala
Do Not Adjust Statistic Do Not Adjust Statistic
EUROPEAN FUNDS 82% 1T8.81** 12% 6.35
LATIN AMERICAN FUNDS 67% S1577*** 17% 4.
PACIFIC RIM FUNDS 44% 8.19* o22% 6.58
TOTAL 59% 1f2.64** 18% 6.1
GRANCER-NONCAUSALITY (tong Exogeneity, s.e.)
HO: Prices Median Wald HO: NAVs Median Wald
Strongly Exog. Statistic Strongly Exog. Statistic
EUROPEAN FUNDS 86% I ''- 32.31*** * 29.61
LATIN AMERICAN FUNDS 100% 16.84**[ 25% 7.34
PACIFIC RIM FUNDS 59% 14.74*** 37% 10.22*
TOTAL 73% 20.05* 3 2
PART C: ASSUMES SHORT-RUNADJUSMENT
NO COINTEGRATION HO: Prices - Median Waldl H: NAVs Median Wald
Do Not Adjust Statistic [Do Not Adjust Statistic
EUROPEAN FUNDS 71% | [ 1
LATIN AMERICAN FUNDS 75% 20.20*** I 25% / _4.74 1
PACIFIC RIM FUNDS 50% 9.32* r 44% -7.81*
TOTAL 61% --7 |7 1.* | 3% | 6
*, (**), [*'*] Implies significance at 10%, (5%), [1%].
deviations from the long-run equilibrium seem to be more informative for prices than they are for
NAVs. The results hold for the case when cointegration is assumed, but even more strongly for the
one when cointegration is not assumed. Overall, NAVs tend to be strongly exogenous. Table III
shows that in 70 and 73 percent of the cases NAVs are strongly exogenous, depending on whether
cointegration is assumed or not. Meanwhile, prices are only strongly exogenous in 30 and 33
percent of the cases respectively. When cointegration is ruled out, the results show that for 61 (33)
percent of the cases NAVs (prices) are exogenous.
A closer look at Table III suggests interesting conclusions. First, all the exogeneity tests for
eveiy region yield the same results: NAVs tend to be the exogenous variable, while fund prices are
the ones that adjust to past changes in NAVs. This evidence seems to support the hypothesis of
asyrnmetric information in all regions. Second, this relationship holds even more strongly for
Europe than for Latin America or the Pacific Rim. This fact is not entirely surprising. We have
already indicated that discounts are positive for a smaller proportion of Latin American and Pacific
Rim funds than European funds. As mentioned before, these funds cover a period of high capital
flows to emerging countries in Asia and Latin America. A significant part of these flows was due to
investors that bought foreign equities in the form of ADRs and country funds. Therefore, optimistic
foreign investors may have generated a boom in country fund prices, that later on raised local stock
market prices.
Our results are consistent with the fact that NAVs are closer to information about local
market fundamentals, and consequently react first. Nevertheless, we recognize that in principle
these results are also consistent with previous papers--which assumed that noise traders hold
country funds but not the underlying assets. If country fund holders repeatedly underpredict or
overpredict changes in fund prices, they are the ones who will adjust to changes in NAVs (which
12
are closer to fundamentals). We explore further implications of both hypotheses in the next
subsection.
B. Why Are Adjustments Slow?
If investors are fully rational, even if subject to asymmetrc information, they will use the
information in the NAVs, which is published weekly. Fund prices will mimic NAVs as soon as
NAVs become available every week. However, the ECM results show that prices follow NAVs at a
slower pace than that implied by asymmetric information among rational investors. It takes several
weeks to complete the adjustment. Several reasons may explain this sluggishness.
First, the presence of noise traders may delay the adjustnnent since foreign investors face a
signal-extraction problem. Changes in NAVs can be caused either by misperceptions among noise
traders (who may also participate in the local market) or by changes in the country's fundamentals.
Second, prices may be slow to react due to market illiquidity. Many country fund markets are
shallow: few transactions take place. Therefore, prices will move toward NAVs only as transactions
occur. 12
Third, if there are noise traders only in the country fund market, as the noise traders literature
suggests, prices will be disconnected from changes in NAVs. Noise traders' estimates of the asset
values differ from the fundamental values, reflected by the NAVs. So the link between NAVs and
prices is distorted by noise traders' misperceptions. Fourth, it could be the case that domestic and
foreign investors have different preferences or are part of different clienteles. So NAVs and fund
prices move according to each market's preferences, although they may eventually move together in
the long run. Therefore, a weak connection is found between NAVs and prices in the short run.
13
This section tests whether the statistical evidence is consistent with any of the competing
explanations of sluggish responses. We relate the adjustment coefficients to measures of noise
trading and market liquidity. As a proxy for noise trading we take the standard deviation of first-
differenced log NAVs and prices, given that the variables in levels are non-stationary. We assume
that more noise in the markets leads to increasing variability in NAVs and prices. As a proxy for
markelt liquidity we take the magnitude of each fund's total assets.
The first part of Table IV shows regressions of the fitted price adjustment coefficients
(negative fitted als) on three explanatory variables: the standard deviations of first-differenced
NAVs and prices, and the value of the country funds' assets. The first three regressions show that
more noise in the local market implies lower adjustment coefficients for country fund prices. They
also show that the value of the total assets is not statistically significant in explaining price
adjustrnents. So the market illiquidity explanation is not supported by the data. Lastly, they show
that noise in the country fund market is not statistically related to the adjustment coefficient and has
the wrong sign. The fourth and fifth regressions concentrate on the NAV adjustment coefficients.
They suggest that the standard deviation of first-differenced log prices is negatively related to the
fitted ce2s. In other words, more volatile country fund prices imply slower adjustment of NAVs to
prices.
In summary, results from Table IV suggest that the speeds of adjustment are negatively
related to the variability of the "external market." The adjustment of country fund prices is
negatively related to the variability of the NAVs, while the adjustment of NAVs is negatively related
to the variability of the fund prices. This suggests the typical signal-extraction problem of markets
with imperfect information. The statistical relationship holds more strongly for the price adjustment
case. Finally, the noise trader models would predict that more noise in the country fund market is
14
TABLE IV
WHAT EXPLAINS SLOW ADJUSTMENT COEFFICIENTS?
ADJUSTMENT COEFFICIENTS VERSUS NAV AND PRICE VARIABILITY
HETEROSKEDASTICITY-CONSISTENT STrANDARD ERRORS
Dependent Variable: PRICE ADJUSTMENT
(negative alphal coefficients, higher values imply faster adjustmeints)
Repgression 1:
Number of Observaffons: 61
Independent Variables:
Coefficient Std. Error t-Statistic
Constant 0.12 0.02 5.35
St. Dev. of First-Diff. Log NAVs -1.42 0.57 -2.48
Adjusted R-squared 0.07 S.E. of regression 0.06
Rearession 2:
Number of Observations: 56
Independent Variables:
Coefficient Std. Error t-Statistic
Constant 0.13 0.03 5.01
St. Dev. of First-Diff. Log NAVs -1.31 0.57 -2.31
Total Assets -3E-05 4E-05 -0.85
Adjusted R-squared 0.06 S.E. of regression 0.06
Regression 3:
Number of Observations: 61
Independent Variables:
Coefficient Std. Error t-Statistic
Constant 0.09 0.04 2.53
St. Dev. of First-Diff. Log NAVs -1.76 0.79 -2.23
Total Assets -4E-05 4E-05 -0.95
St. Dev. of First-Diff. Log Prices 0.99 1.02 0.97
Adjusted R-squared 0.05 S.E. of regression 0.06
Dependent Variable: NAV ADJUSMENT
(alpha2 coefficients, higher values imply faster adjustments)
Regression 4:
Number of Observations: 61
Independent Variables:
Coefficient Std. Error t-Statistic
Constant 0.07 0.04 1.59
St. Dev. of First-Diff. Log Prices -0.91 0.83 -1.10
Adjusted R-squared 0.02 S.E. of regression 0.04
Reoression 5:
Number of Observations: 61
Independent Variables:
Coefficient Std. Error t-StaKtic
Constant 0.08 0.04 1.85
St. Dev. of First-Diff. Log Prices -1.55 0.84 -1.85
St. Dev. of First-Diff. Log NAVs 0.67 0.45 1.49
Adjusted R-squared 0.02 S.E. of regression 0.04
. ( ) r**i Implies significance at 10%, (5%), [1%].
related to slower price adjustments. The higher the misperception, the less related NAVs and prices
are. Our results do not support this hypothesis, since the volatility of the country fund market is not
statistically significant and is positively related to the speed of adjustment of prices to NAVs.
Nevertheless, our results favor the asymmetric information model.
m. Applications of Asymmetric Information
This section introduces applications of asymmetric information to the recent financial crises in
Mexico 1994-95 and Asia 1997. The asymmetric information hypothesis suggests that the market
for the underlying assets has more information than the country fund market. Therefore, we expect
NA'Vs to react first to an ongoing crisis, anticipating the decline in fund prices. When the fall in
NA'Vs is large relative to fund prices, average discounts turn to premia before or at the beginning of
the crisis. Figure 3 shows that this has been the case for most funds that invest in the countries
involved in the recent episodes. 13
Frankel and Schmukler (1996) show that NAVs of the three Mexican funds fell before and
faster than fund prices, prior to the Mexican devaluation of December 20, 1994. We interpret this
fact as evidence that Mexican investors (the main holders of the underlying assets) reacted to the
crisis of 1994 before foreign investors. Mexican investors probably knew more and foresaw the
crisis, while small American investors reacted with a lag.
In the case of the more recent Asian crisis we study the four countries that have been initially
affected by the crisis: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. The crisis erupted with the
Thai Bath's free floating and depreciation on July 2, 1997. Thailand had been perceived as facing
macroeconomic and financial vulnerability. The stock market had been falling since its peak in 1995
15
FIGURE 3
DISCOUNTS AT THE BEGINNING OF CRISES
Emerging Mexico Fund (MEF), Mexico Equity and Income Fund Malaysia Fund (MF) and First Philippine Fund (FPF) Discount
20.. (MXE), and Mexico Fund (MXF) Discount 30
-10 0 00 O . 0 0
00 00)00)0 0) O ( 0) 0)0 0 X a} 0} / * * MEFI\ ...
20 \8 /t V jr A - D~~~MXE |: L : :1 _: N NR NN ) ZS 88
-40~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~2
-50 Devaluation:.-2 Flotation: 7/12/97 /
-60 Malaysian Ringit
Flotation: 7/14/97
Thai Capital Fund (TC) and Thai Fund (TTF) Discount Indonesia Fund (IF) and Jakarta Growth Fund (JGF) Discount
-20 n0 O
DMXFM .0 |- - 0 0 0 0 - - (DG0
-30. \ 0 - I e Rp 0 0 |
-40~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~2
Mexican Peso Ph~~~~-30indopnesia RPish
-.56°0 DevaluattRioan:, .^ . -20 Flotatio7n: 7
7/2/97 Flotation:./14/97
along with the two Thai country fund NAVs and prices. Nevertheless average discounts turned into
premia by the end of 1996. After January 1997 the premia increased steadily, as if holders of the
underlying assets were more aware of how fragile Thailand's financial sector was.
The Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia followed Thailand by free floating their exchange
rates on July 12, July 14, and August 14 respectively. Part of the transmission to these countries has
been interpreted as being pure contagion. The crisis in Indonesia seems to have been unexpected.
The Indonesian stock market index did not decline as the others did. But right before the crisis,
NAVs fell sharply turning small discounts into premia on the week of the rupiah's free floating. This
type of behavior seems similar to the Mexican example. In the case of the Philippines and Malaysia
we observe discounts shrinking before the free floating, and turning into premia afterwards. This
kind of evidence suggests that the holders of the underlying assets were more pessimistic than the
country fund holders after the currency depreciation in each country, as if they have understood
more quickly the extent of the crisis.
IV. Summary and Conclusions
This paper has addressed several issues concerning country funds. The main finding of the paper is
that country funds support the hypothesis of asymmetric information. We estimated error-correction
models for each country fund, since the variables appeared to be non-stationary and due to the
existence of cointegration between NAVs and prices. The exogeneity tests concluded that NAVs
tend to be the exogenous variable. In other words, past NAVs and discounts predict current
changes in country fund prices more often than past fund prices and discounts predict current
16
changes in NAVs. This relationship held in general for the three regions studied, namely Europe,
Latin America, and the Pacific Rim.
The results appeared robust to various specifications. Whlen cointegration was (not) assumed,
we rejected the null hypothesis of strongly exogenous prices in 70 (73) percent of the funds, while
we only rejected the null hypothesis of strongly exogenous NAVs in 30 (33) percent of the funds.
On the other hand, when ruling out cointegration, we found that prices adjust in 61 percent of the
cases to short-run changes in NAV, while NAVs adjust in 33 percent of the cases to short-run
changes in prices. We found this evidence consistent with asyrnmetric information. NAVs seem to
be closer to local information; they are the asset prices that react first to local news. Later on, the
country fund holders receive the information, so prices react after NAVs have reacted. This type of
behavior can be observed in Figure 3, where the Mexican and Asian country fund discounts are
plotted around the recent currency crises.
Our empirical analysis also found sluggish adjustments tc the long-run relationships between
NAVs and prices. In other words, NAVs and prices react to larjge discounts more slowly than what
asymmetric information predicts. Thus, we explored the statistical relationship between the speeds
of adjustment and other variables. We worked with each market's variability as a measure of noise
in the markets. The tests showed that there is a statistically significant negative relationship between
the price adjustment coefficients and the standard deviation of first-differenced log NAVs. We
found a similar relationship between the NAV adjustment coefficients and the standard deviation of
first-differenced log prices. However, we failed to find a significant relationship between the
adjustment coefficients and the variability of the markets where the assets trade.
The model introduced in the Appendix explains why one might expect average positive
discounts to be the norm. Assuming asymmetric information, the theoretical model entails three
17
propositions. In the first proposition, the model shows that discounts are on average positive. The
second proposition shows that changes in NAVs help to predict changes in prices. The third
proposition extends the results by introducing noise traders; thus NAVs are not fully revealing. The
last itheoretical proposition demonstrates that the reaction of prices to NAVs is only partial.
The asymmetric information approach presents two main advantages over the "noise traders
model." First, it has enabled us to derive average positive discounts even excluding noise traders or
irrational agents from the model. In addition, it has allowed us to include noise traders in the market
of country funds as well as in the market of underlying assets. Thereby, we could see how noise in
both markets affects the adjustment toward the long-run equilibrium. Finally, we have been able to
test empirically the asymmetric information hypothesis against the noise traders model.
18
Appendix - A Model of Asymmetric Information
This appendix introduces a model that captures our primary empirical findings. We assume a world
of overlapping generations with two-period-lived domestic and international investors. 14 "Domestic
investors" are both residents of the country (where the underlying assets are being traded) and large
international investors (who have the same information than local residents). "Foreign investors" are
small international investors who buy the other country's assets. Their utility functions are
respectively described by
U =-e -(2y)w, U* = -e-(2y.W (2)
y represents the degree of absolute risk aversion, and W and WR stand for their wealth. The asterisk
(*) denotes foreign investors' variables.
In period 1, investors choose their portfolio to maximize future expected utility. They
consume all their wealth in period 2 and leave no bequests to future generations. Two assets are
available in the economy: a safe asset and a risky one. The safe asset, which we think of as U.S.
government bonds, has a perfectly elastic supply and pays a return r. Its price is normalized to 1.
The risky asset is a basket of securities from the domestic country. The risky asset can be held
directly or via holding the respective country fund. P, is the foreign market price of the country
funds. Nt is the NAV, the domestic value of the portfolio of underlying assets (denominated in the
foreign currency). We assume that both P, and N, are observable at any point in time.15 The
domestic and foreign investor's demand functions are qt, qt, , and Of,.
Investors maximize their expected utility in period 1, choosing their demand for risk-free and
risky securities. Their wealth in the period they consume are
19
W,+, = W, (1I+ r) + o)n (N,+, + Yt+, - N, (I + r)) + Of (P,+, + ytf I - P, (I + r))
+ W*(1)i(N + y, - N, (1 + r)) + ±& (P, + ytf - P (1+ r))t
The only difference between domestic and foreign investors is reflected on how they perceive
future diividends. Given their information set It , domestic investors perceive the dividends of the
underlying assets to be
Yt+, = Yt + Et+' (4)
6t+, is the unexpected shock to the underlying assets' fundamentals. Foreign investors perceive the
dividends of the underlying assets to follow
yt+, = Yt + 6t+l + i1t+,' (5)
At+, is noise that foreign investors face due to asymmetric information about foreign countries.
Finally, when both domestic and foreign investors buy the country fund, dividends are perceived to
be
f
Yt+I = Yt + 6t+, + P+ (6)
Pt., reflects uncertainty about the fund manager's quality.
We assume that the shocks to dividends have the following distribution
£t (° 7 cr 0 0
Lt +NL O 0 0 ,jj (7)
The assumptions made in equations (4)-(7) imply that expected values do not vary with the
type of investment or with the type of investor,
E(yf+l I) = E* (yt]-,t I*) = E(yf I II,) = E*y (+,III*) = Yt (8)
On the other hand, the conditional variances when buying the underlying assets are
20
Var (yt+It)=a 2 +o2 >Var(y+,1II,) = U2, (9)
while the conditional variances when buying the country fund are
Var(Ytt+ljI ) =CF2 + C2 =Var*(YtSl It+). (0
In summary, for foreign investors the conditional variance of buying the underlying assets is
higher than the conditional variance of buying country funds. The reverse is true for domestic
investors.
II U U 2 +02 2L..(/1I)>a(~1I)o.
Var (yt+±It )= T> Var* (yf II)=b= Var (yf+I II )>Var(yt,, II a (11)
Given that domestic investors have better information about tlle local economy, foreign investors
perceive a higher variance than domestic investors when buying the underlying assets. However,
since the manager decides the portfolio composition of the country fund, the domestic investors'
information advantage is lost and their conditional variance increases when buying country funds.
On the other hand, country fund managers have a better understanding of the country where they
invest than foreign investors. As a consequence, foreign investors' conditional variance decreases if
they switch from acquiring the underlying assets to buying the country fund.
Proposition 1:
Discounts are strictly positive if the difference in information is greater than zero. Given
that cr2 > U2,>p if U > 0, N, - P, > °
Proof: Since returns are assumed to be normally distributed, investors maximize the following
conditional expected utility functions
E(U,, Ij,) = E(WT+,1I )-yVar(WJ+1f II,) (12)
E*(Ut I II*) = E*(W*i,II* )-yVar*(W7;fII:)-
21
In equilibrium, domestic (foreign) investors will only buy the underlying assets (country fund).
Given that the dividends to both assets are perfectly correlated, there is no benefit to diversification.
Moreover, one group of investors will buy the country fund while the other group will buy the
underlying assets. If both groups of investors decided to buy the underlying assets (country funds),
P, (N, ) would go to zero. Finally, given the assumptions about the conditional variances, domestic
(foreign) investors reduce their risk by only acquiring the underlying assets (country fund)."6 There
is nothing here that prevents domestic (foreign) investors to buy the country fund (underlying
assets). So discounts will lie within an interval before prompting investors to shift assets.
We solve the equilibrium case in which domestic investors buy the underlying assets and
foreign investors buy the country fund shares. They maximize the following conditional expected
utility functions
E(U,, II,) =W, (1 + r) + 0 (E(N+I + y+) - N, (I + r)) - yq52Var(Nt+, + yt+l|I
and (13)
E* (U III*)= WI(1+ r) +±f(E(P,+ +y f1) - Pt(1 +r)) - y&f2Var*(P , +yf,I4I).
The maximization process yields the following demand functions for the underlying assets and
for the country fund
(N = (E(N,+, + Yt+,) - Nt (1 + r)),
2rVar(N,+, + y,+, lIIt )
and (14)
2yVar *(+ y fY )-Pjl±r))
The equilibrium conditions for the risky assets are,
QtS and ¢t*f = Sf. (15)
22
We assume that S" and 5 (the supplies of underlying assets and country funds) are fixed and equal
to S.
To solve for NAVs and country fund prices, we impose that the unconditional distributions of
N,,+ and P,+, are identical to the distributions of N, and Pt. We also know that
Var(N,+1 + yt1lit = E[(Nt+I + Yt+1 E(Nt+l +yt+1))2 II,]
and (16)
Var *(PE+ + y1f, II*) = E* [(P,+. + yft -E(Pt+ + Yf))2I:].
Then, using the demand functions and the equilibrium conditions, we obtain the following
steady-state closed-form expressions
N ={y1 [y _2y r 2 2 (17)
Pt = - Y Y(u + aH
Finally, we can derive the following expression for the country fund discount
Nt Pt = S3Yo2r >O (18)
QED
Proposition 2:
NA Vs explain fund prices when they deviate from the equilibrium discounts.
Proof: We now assume that domestic investors receive some private information (06,, ) at time t,
regarding future shocks to the dividends. Then, expected values differ,
E(y,+ It) = Yt t+1 Ot, E E*(yf+lIt Yt (19)
23
Any deviation of the NAVs from the equilibrium discount is informative for foreign investors,
who interpret this change as news about future dividends. The private information foreign investors
receive is transmitted to foreign investors through changes in NAVs. So, the new expected utility
function is
E*(tlt+,JI* ,|Nt - PI,| >S2 3 ¢5) = Wt*+ (I + r) + O*f (E(P,,, + y, E*(6st JAN,), and
I+r~~~
AIt 1 ( 1) 1 (27)
25
The higher the noise in the local market, the slower the one-period adjustment of prices with respect
to NAVs, given that the number of noise traders (v) is positive. In other words, the lower the
variability of noise relative to the total variability of NAVs and the fewer the noise traders, the more
revealing NAVs are. QED
26
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28
Endnotes
l The Appendix Table describes the data used in the paper.
2 Discounts at time t are equal to 100*ln(NAVJ/price,).
3. Figure I shows that funds start trading at premia. Funds like the Italy Fund, the Chile Fund, the
Malaysia Fund, and the Swiss Fund (although to a lesser degree) demonstrate this point. The
Korea and Mexico fund were established before 1985. Fund managers planned the initial public
offerings (IPO) around a time of optimistic sentiments with respect to the specific country. Over
time discounts become positive.
4. Noise traders in financial markets have been introduced by De Long, Shleifer, Summers, and
Waldmann (1990).
3. It would be interesting to compare the size of country fund discounts versus the ones of
domestic funds. If the asymmetry in information is more present in international capital markets
than in domestic markets, one would expect to find deeper discounts in country funds than in
domestic closed-end funds. However, most of the country funds have been affected by
idiosyncratic country factors--like capital inflows--which would bias any valid comparison.
Perhaps, once country funds acquire a longer history, a comparison of discounts would be more
appropriate.
6 All econometric tests have been run with the variables in logarithms.
7. Results for all the funds are detailed in Frankel and Schmukler (1997).
8 If one of the variables is "weakly exogenous"--if it does not adjust to the long-run equilibrium--
only one equation of model (1) is sufficient for efficient inference about the parameters 7t and
X. Nevertheless, in the present case we are particularly interested in another issue: we want to
determine which variable is the one that responds to changes in the long-run equilibrium.
29
9. Note that the structure of the model implies that the expected a, are negative, while the
expected a2 are positive in order to have convergence towards the long-run equilibrium.
'O. Other results are available upon request to the authors.
". Part of our sensitivity analysis is shown in Frankel and Schmukler (1997).
12 Note that the only data available are traded prices. Data such as the ask-bid spread would be
useful to analyze how liquid markets are. Unfortunately, this kind of data is not available.
13 Only discounts (but not NAVs or prices) are plotted in Figure 3 to make graphs clear.
14. This kind of model enables us to compare our results to earlier papers on closed-end country
funds such as De Long, Shleifer, Summers, and Waldman (1990), Lang, Litzenberger, and
Madrigal (1992), Gehrig (1993), Hardouvelis, La Porta, and Wizman (1994), and Klibanoff,
Lamont, and Wizman (1996).
15, In practice, NAVs are published on a weekly basis. So the current NAV (Ne) is unknown when
the country fund price is set. This fact needs to be considered to obtain the dynamics estimated
in the empirical part of the paper.
16. This result looks plausible even though there are no public statistics about the nationality of
country fund holders. Surveyed country fund managers and administrators acknowledged that
country funds are mainly held by small U.S. investors. If country funds are considered "foreign
equities" relative to the underlying assets, we can relate this feature to the home-country bias
evidence. Several studies, like Lewis (1995), French and Poterba (1991), Gehrig (1993), and
Tesar and Werner (1994), document its presence in international financial markets.
30
APPENDIX TABLE
DATA DESCRIPTION
SAMPLE OF CLOSED-END COUNTRY FUND
SAMPLE PERIOD 1/4/85-318196
SYMBOL Initial Public Offering (IPO) Total Assets (Mill.) Portfolio Turnover
(5131/1996) (%- 1995)
EUROPEAN FUNDS:
1 AUSTRIA FUND OST 9/21/89 135-7 27
2 EMERGING GERMANY FUND FRG 3/29/90 132.7 40
3 FIRST IBERIAN FUND IBF 4113138 71.6 43
4 FIRST ISRAEL FUND ISL 10'22/92 71.3 22
5 FRANCE FUND FR 5/30/86 #NIA #N/A
6 FRANCE GROWTH FUND FRF 5/10/90 193.5 49
7 FUT. GERMANY FUND FGF 3/9(90 #N/A #N/A
8 GERMANY FUND GER 7/18/86 208 41
9 GROWTH SPAIN GSP 2114/90 234.2 #N/A
10 IRISH INVESTMENT FUND IRL 3/30/90 78.8 81
11 ITALY FUND ITA 2/26186 101.1 58
12 NEW GERMANY FUND GF 1/24/90 531.7 #N/A
13 PORTUGAL FUND PGF 11/1/89 77.8 36
14 SPAIN FUND SNF 6/21/88 118.4 38
15 SWISS HELVETIA FUND SWZ 8/19/87 299.7 10
16 TURKISH INVEST FUND TKF 12/15/89 5.83 41.1
17 UNITED KINGDOM FUND UKM 8/6/87 63.8 63.6
LATIN AMERICAN FUNDS: SYMBOL
1 ARGENTINA FUND AF 10/11/91 126.9 25
2 BRAZIL EQUITY BZL 4/3/92 72.6 55
3 BRAZIL FUND BZF 3131/88 410.6 10
4 CHILE FUND CH 9/26/89 366.5 2
5 EMERGING MEXICO FUND MEF 10/2190 11.4 83
6 HERZFELO CARIBBEAN BASI CUBA 9/10193 9 6
7 LATIN AMERICA DLR INC FUN LBF 7/24192 #NIA #NIA
8 LATIN AMERICA EQUITY FO LAO 10/22/91 146.1 27
9 LATIN AMERICA INVESTMENT LAM 6116/92 152.1 39
10 LATIN AMERICAN DISCOVER LDF 7/25/90 164.4 122
11 MEXICO EQUITY AND INCOM MXE 8/14/90 148.2 51
12 MEXICO FUND MXF 6/3/81 931.1 11
PACIFIC RIM FUNDS: SYMBOL
1 ASIA PACIFIC FUND APB 2/24/87 282.9 48
2 ASIA TIGERS FUND GRR 11/18193 277.9 #N/A
3 CHINA FUND CHN 7/10/92 140.4 #N/A
4 EMERGING TIGERS FUND TGF 2/25194 #N/A #N/A
5 FIDELITY ADV EMERG ASIA F FAE 3/18/94 139.4 #N/A
6 FIRST AUSTRALIA FUND IAF 12112/85 191.4 #N/A
7 FIRST PHILLIPINE FUND FPF 11/8/89 240.7 #N/A
8 GREATER CHINA FUND GCH 7115/92 191.3 #N/A
9 INDIA FUND IFN 2/14/94 329.6 #N/A
10 INDIA GROWTH FUND IGF 8112188 131.9 #N/A
11 INDONESIA FUND IF 3/1/90 48.2 #N/A
12 JAKARTA GROWTH FUND JGF 4110/90 48.1 #N/A
13 JAPAN EQUITY FUND JEQ 3114/90 128.2 28
14 JAPAN FUND (Open-ended 19 JAP 4/12/62 #N/A #N/A
15 JAPAN OTC EQTY FUND JOF 3/14190 99.3 79
16 JARDINE FLEMING CHINA FU JFC 7/16/92 107.6 #N/A
17 JARDINE FLEMING INDIA FUN JFI 3/3/94 109 #N/A
18 KOREA EQUITY FUND KEF 11/24/93 77.8 #N/A
19 KOREA FUND KF 8/22/84 769.9 #N/A
20 KOREAN INVESTMENT FUND KIF 2/13/92 96.9 #N/A
21 MALAYSIA FUND MF 5/8/87 208.9 #N/A
22 PAKISTAN INVESTMENT FUN PKF 12/16/93 86.5 #N/A
23 ROC TAIWAN FUND ROC 5/12/89 335 #N/A
24 SCHRODER ASIAN GROWTH SHF 7124/90 281.1 67
25 SCUDDER NEW ASIA FUND SAF 12/22/93 142.3 58
26 SINGAPORE FUND SGF 6/18/87 118.9 #N/A
27 TAIWAN EQUITY FUND TYW 7/18194 45.6 #NIA
25 TAIWAN FUND TWN 12/16/83 335.5 #N/A
29 TEMPLETON CHINA WORLD TCH 9/9193 266.8 #N/A
30 TEMPLETON VIETNAM OPPT TVF 9/15/94 114.1 #N/A
31 THAI CAPITAL FUND TC 5122/90 96.4 #N/A
32 THAi FUND TTF 2/17/88 341.5 #N/A
Policy Research Working Paper Series
Contact
Title Author Date for paper
WPS 1869 Risk Reducation and Public Spending Shantayanan Devarajan January 1998 C. Bernardo
Jeffrey S. Hammer 31148
WPS1870 The Evolution of Poverty and Raji Jayaraman January 1998 P. Lanjouw
Inequality in Indian Villages Peter Lanjouw 34529
WPS1871 Just How Big Is Global Production AlexanderJ. Yeats January 1998 L.Tabada
Sharing? 36896
WPS1872 How Integration into the Central Ferdinand Bakoup January 1998 L. Tabada
African Economic and Monetary David Tarr 36896
Community Affects Cameroon's
Economy: General Equilibrium
Estimates
WPS1873 Wage Misalignment in CFA Countries: Martin Rama January 1998 S. Fallon
Are Labor Market Policies to Blarne? 38009
WPS1874 Health Policy in Poor Countries: Deon Filmer January 1998 S. Fallon
Weak Links in the Chain Jeffrey Hammer 38009
Lant Pritchett
WPS1 875 How Deposit Insurance Affects Robert Cull January 1998 P. Sintim-Aboagye
Financial Depth (A Cross-Country 37644
Analysis)
WPSI 876 Industrial Pollution In Economic Hemamala Hettige January 1998 D. Wheeler
Development (Kuznets Revisited) Muthukumara Mani 33401
David Wheeler
WPS1877 What Improves Environmental Susmita Dasgupta January 1998 D. Wheeler
Performance? Evidence from Hemamala Hettige 33401
Mexican Industry David Wheeler
WPS1 878 Searching for Sustainable R. Marisol Ravicz February 1998 M. Ravicz
Microfinance: A Review of Five 85582
Indonesian Initiatives
WPS1879 Relative prices and Inflation in Przemyslaw Wozniak February 1998 L. Barbone
Poland, 1989-97: The Special Role 32556
of Administered Price Increases
WPS1880 Foreign Aid and Rent-Seeking Jakob Svensson February 1998 R. Martin
39065
WPS1881 The Asian Miracle and Modern Richard R. Nelson February 1998 C. Bernardo
Growth Theory Howard Pack 31148
WPS1 882 Interretional Resource Transfer and Toshihiko Kawagoe February 1998 R. Martin
Economic Growth in Indonesia 39065
Policy Research Working Paper Series
Contact
Titte Author Date for paper
WPS1883 lntersectoral Resource Allocation and FumihideTakeuchi February 1998 K. Labrie
Its Impact on Economic Development Takehiko Hagino 31001
in the Philippines
WPS1884 Fiscal Aspects of Evolving David E. Wildasin February 1998 C. Bernardo
Federations: Issues for Policy and 31148
Research
WPS1885 Aid, Taxation, and Development: Christopher S. Adam February 1998 K. Labrie
Analytical Perspectives on Aid Stephen A. O'Connell 31001
Effectiveness in Sub-Saharan Africa