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The Sensitivity of Banks’ Stock Returns to Interest Rate Exposure: How Major Swedish Banks’ Stock Returns Are Affected by Changes in Interest Rates and in the Slope of the Yield Curve
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine how changes in long and short interest rates as well as in the slope of the yield curve affect the stock returns of the four major Swedish banks; Svenska Handelsbanken, Nordea Bank, Swedbank, and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken. Further, the aim of the research is to compare these findings to how the banks perceive that such changes affect their stock returns. The objective is thereof to detect differences and similarities between regressions and interviews, in order to contribute with insights to how the banks can handle their exposure to interest rate risk.

Theoretical Framework: Previous research show that banks’ stock returns are affected by many factors, including cash flow news, interest rates, size of the business, and the macroeconomy as a whole. However, banks’ interest rate margins are set to market rates so these are more exposed to and affected by changes in interest rates, especially short ones, than are non-financial institutions. Furthermore, the low interest rate levels and forecasting errors that have been seen lately have contributed to greater uncertainty and higher risk exposures, making banks’ sensitivity increase.

Methodology: A mixture of a qualitative and a quantitative methodology is used, where the former consists of interviewing the banks and the latter of regressions through secondary data from Thomson Reuters Eikon and the Riksbank.

Conclusion: The major Swedish banks’ stock returns are generally affected by changes in short interest rates but not by changes in long interest rates, with the exception of Handelsbanken being impervious to all such changes. Swedbank’s stock returns are most sensitive than the other banks’ stock returns and it is the only bank affected by changes in the yield curve slope. However, the banks seem to perceive no crucial difference in how their stock returns are affected by changes in short interest rates and long interest rates, concluding that their perceptions of long interest rates are not as in line with our results as are their perceptions of short interest rates. However, it tends to be a more diffuse relationship between changes in long interest rates and stock returns than between changes in short interest rates and stock returns.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 101
Keywords [en]
Banks, stock returns, interest rates, repo rate, STIBOR, SSVX, SE GVB, yield curve slope, cash flows, profitability, interest rate margin
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-158652ISRN: LIU-IEI-FIL-A--19/03068--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-158652DiVA, id: diva2:1335706
Subject / course
Master Thesis in International Business and Economics Programme (Business Administration)
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Available from: 2019-09-05 Created: 2019-07-06 Last updated: 2019-09-05Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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