EU Banking Directives: risk and wealth effects on the Greek financial sector
Themis D. Pantos
Purpose – The paper seeks to examine whether or not wealth effects and changes in the systematic risk associated with the return structure of the Greek commercial chartered banks, investment firms and insurance companies resulted from the passage of the European Union Banking Directives over the period 1988-1997. Design/methodology/approach – Using monthly stock returns from the DataStream database for the period January 1988 to December 1997, the separate effects of each of the EU Banking Directives on Greek commercial chartered banks, investment firms and insurance companies are tested. The “seemingly unrelated regression” methodology is utilized to test three portfolios consisting of an equally weighted banking, investment and insurance index made up of major Greek banks, investment firms and insurance companies respectively. The Greek Market Index serves as a proxy for the market portfolio. All the aforementioned indices were converted to returns using the log difference method. Findings – Empirical results indicate that the systematic risk dramatically increased for Greek insurance and investment firms and moderately increased for Greek commercial chartered banks through the tabling of the Free Capital Movement Directive in the Greek Parliament. After controlling for systematic risk, the results suggest that the passage of the Free Capital Movement Directive did not create wealth effects for the shareholders of commercial chartered banks, investment firms and insurance companies. Conversely, the results demonstrate that the Second Banking, Investment Services and Capital Adequacy Directives produced no wealth effects for the investment firms and insurance companies, but not for commercial chartered banks' shareholders. The whole wealth effect on the Greek financial sector was neutral. Originality/value – This article will be of value to academics, bankers, bank regulators, practitioners, and economic policy makers who are interested in the regulatory evolution of the EU banking industry.
Banking, European directives, Financial risk, Greece, Risk management, Wealth
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