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Title: Corporate syndicated loan pricings in Germany : an exploration of the hidden drivers
Author: Schmidt, Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 6353 2514
Awarding Body: University of Gloucestershire
Current Institution: University of Gloucestershire
Date of Award: 2017
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Syndicated loans are a common debt financing format for large corporations in general. For those situated in Germany—with its bank-based financial system—such loans play a vital role. Given the multibillion volumes raised annually, the pricing of syndicated loans is economically significant, with its levels, structure, and determination having attracted the interest of researchers around the world. A critical review of the existing worldwide literature of syndicated loan pricing revealed notable gaps, including an almost complete absence of studies on the German corporate market. The overall research aim was to address this gap by exploring and analysing the “hidden drivers” of banks’ pricing of syndicated loans to German corporate borrowers, thereby developing an enriched understanding of the elements and determinants of pricing and its underlying processes and decisions. Adopting a pragmatist research paradigm, I chose a sequential mixed-methods approach, with a limited quantitative analysis preceding an extensive qualitative study. The first stage of the research was designed to evaluate the availability of reliable quantitative pricing data in the public domain—this being the main data source for the clear majority of extant studies. I found the availability and quality of pricing data for the German corporate market to be extremely limited, particularly in comparison to that available relating to the U.S. market. There was clearly much that remained unexplained; hence, primary research was required to illuminate syndicated loan pricing and the decision processes that contribute to it. The main element of the qualitative study was a series of semi-structured, in-depth interviews with a sample of bank lending professionals and key informants. The purpose of these interviews was to explore the complex realities of syndicated lending through the eyes and experiences of the people involved and to interpret the socially constructed phenomena surrounding the pricing of German corporate syndicated loans. The study succeeded in revealing and substantiating important and to date hidden phenomena concerning numerous dimensions of syndicated lending in general and pricing in particular. An explanation was developed for the relative opacity of the German corporate syndicated loan market. The study enabled significant enhancements to the understanding of the concept of pricing and its complex and interwoven elements. More broadly, a new and richer perspective was developed of syndicated lending as a behavioural phenomenon, involving a complex interplay of relationships and strategies, and involving individuals and departments within banks, between banks as members of the syndicate, and between lenders and borrowers. The insights gained informed the development of a comprehensive model of the pricing elements of syndicated lending and their determinants. This research is the first to conduct and produce an in-depth study of the internal workings of syndicated corporate lending in the German market and a study that does not rely on secondary data that are at best incomplete. It has resulted in many rich and original insights and a conceptualisation of syndicated lending that differs radically from the classical understanding of lender-borrower relationships as founded on theories of asymmetric information. The research presented here, therefore, makes significant contributions to the literature, in helping to close notable gaps in the banking and financial intermediation literature.
Supervisor: Watts, Ged ; Faye, Sainey ; Bown, Robin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HG1501 Banking ; HG4001 Finance management. Business finance ; HG4501 Investment ; capital formation ; speculation