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Essays on performance, corporate financial strategy and organization of multinational banks in Africa

Pelletier, Adeline (2014) Essays on performance, corporate financial strategy and organization of multinational banks in Africa. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

This thesis is composed of three stand-alone essays interlinked within the context of banking markets in sub-Saharan Africa. This research is motivated by the lack of comparative research on North-South and South-South foreign direct investment (FDI), especially on the service sector and on the African context, despite the rapid expansion of multinationals from developing and emerging countries over the last two decades. Theoretically, this thesis builds on strategy, corporate finance and organizational economics theories. The first chapter compares the financial performance of the foreign affiliates of global banks to that of regional African banks in sub-Saharan Africa over a 10-year period. The results suggest that affiliates of regional African banks are significantly less profitable (lower return on equity and higher cost income ratio) than those of global banks. Furthermore, the performance differentials are not strongly related to the quality and sectoral allocation of banks’ loan portfolio but to differences in their access to funding. The second chapter examines the benefits and drawbacks of being part of a large banking group by analyzing the flows of internal capital between foreign affiliates located in an emerging economy, South Africa, and their global headquarters. It provides evidence for a support motive to internal funding, as foreign affiliates receive on average more internal group funding when their solvency ratio declines. However, using the event of the East Asian Crisis, I show that foreign affiliates’ balance sheet are not immune to “reversal of fortune” when other members of their banking group need large amounts of internal capital to cushion capital losses, leading to abrupt reallocation of internal capital. Finally, using an instrument variable technique I find a positive impact of the volume of internal funding received by a foreign affiliate on its credit supply in the mortgage market. In the third chapter I examine how environmental and firm factors influence the organizational structure of multinational banks relying on survey data on commercial banks located in 14 sub-Saharan African countries. I find evidence of a positive and significant association between several indicators of environmental distance between host and home countries (institutional, economic and cultural distance) and centralization of operational processes inside multinationals. In addition, I find that lower quantity of “hard” information available on borrowers in the host markets and higher reliance on qualitative or “soft” information by bank managers is negatively and significantly associated with centralization.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2014 Adeline Pelletier
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Sets: Departments > Management
Supervisor: Estrin, Saul
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1061

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