Does the Underwriter Reputation Affect the Pricing of Local Government Bonds in China?

  •  Hongdan Ji    


As the product of the combination of fiscal and financial, local government bonds should also follow the pricing mechanism of the securities market even under the special financial system in China. This paper uses Heckman's two-stage model to investigate whether the mechanism of underwriter reputation affects the pricing of local government bonds. The empirical results show that local governments tend to choose securities company underwriters with high reputation when they issue bonds with large scale, long maturity, and call right which have high degree of information asymmetry, and this tendency has an obvious time trend. However, high-reputation securities company underwriters failed to play the role of information intermediary to reduce the cost of local governments. On the contrary, implicit guarantees and government interventions induced the commercial banks to depress their quotations even leading to “interest rate upside down”, which resulted in the lack of securities company underwriters. In order to play the mechanism of underwriter reputation to promote the marketization of local government bonds pricing, this paper proposes to eliminate government interference, guide underwriters to strengthen the construction of their reputation, promote the marketization of underwriting fees and strengthen the supervision of underwriters.

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