Essays on Sovereign Bond Markets

Abstract : In the first chapter, I ask if short-sellers are superiorly informed about sovereign auctions. I find a large average increase in demand for short-selling prior to auctions. Yet, the demand for short-selling a bond does not predict a subsequent increase in the bond's yield. Overall, there is no evidence that short-sellers predict or interpret auction outcomes better than the market.In the second chapter, I develop and test a model explaining the gradual price decrease observed in the days leading to large anticipated asset sales such as Treasury auctions. In the model, risk-averse investors anticipate an asset sale which magnitude, and hence price, are uncertain. I show that investors face a trade-off between hedging the price risk with a long position, and speculating on the difference between the pre-sale and the expected sale prices. Due to hedging, the equilibrium price is above the expected sale price. As the sale date approaches, uncertainty about the sale price decreases, short speculative positions increase and the price decreases. In line with the predictions, I find that the yield of Italian Treasuries increases by 1.2 bps after the release of auction price information, compared to non-information days.In the third chapter, I study the link between prices and repo rates during the subprime crisis. I find that the no-arbitrage relationship between prices and repo rates in Duffie (1996) fares worse during the crisis. However, low-repo-rate bonds have an 18.0% higher probability of being more expensive than identical high-repo-rate bonds during the crisis, compared to only 9.0% before the crisis. Overall, while there are high limits of arbitrage, prices and repo rates feature larger co-movements during the crisis.
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Jean-David Sigaux. Essays on Sovereign Bond Markets. Business administration. Université Paris-Saclay, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017SACLH005⟩. ⟨tel-01569458⟩

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