Article | Journal of Financial Economics | March 2011

Institutional Demand Pressure and the Cost of Corporate Loans

by Victoria Ivashina and Zheng Sun


Between 2001 and 2007, annual institutional funding in highly leveraged loans went up from $32 billion to $426 billion, accounting for nearly 70% of the jump in total syndicated loan issuance over the same period. Did the inflow of institutional funding in the syndicated loan market lead to mispricing of credit? To understand this relation, we look at the institutional demand pressure defined as the number of days a loan remains in syndication. Using market-level and cross-sectional variation in time on the market, we find that a shorter syndication period is associated with a lower final interest rate. The relation is robust to the use of institutional fund flow as an instrument. Furthermore, we find significant price differences between institutional investors' tranches and banks' tranches on the same loans, even though they share the same underlying fundamentals. Increasing demand pressure causes the interest rate on institutional tranches to fall below the interest rate on bank tranches. Overall, a one standard deviation reduction in average time on the market decreases the interest rate for institutional loans by over 30 basis points per annum. While this effect is significantly larger for loan tranches bought by structured investment vehicles (e.g., CDOs), it is not fully explained by their role.

Keywords: Leveraged Buyouts; Financial Crisis; Credit; Debt Securities; Financing and Loans; Interest Rates; Investment;


Ivashina, Victoria, and Zheng Sun. "Institutional Demand Pressure and the Cost of Corporate Loans ." Journal of Financial Economics 99, no. 3 (March 2011): 500–522.