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Purpose – Examine the role of institutional investors in accelerating the development of capital markets and economies abroad, the determinants of their investment, both…
Purpose – Examine the role of institutional investors in accelerating the development of capital markets and economies abroad, the determinants of their investment, both in the domestic and foreign markets, and their importance in promoting good corporate governance practices worldwide and facilitating increased financial integration.
Methodology/approach – Review and synthesize recent academic literature (1970–2011) on the process of international financial integration and the role of foreign institutional investors in the increasingly global financial markets.
Findings – Despite the concern that short-term flow of international capital can be destructive to the emerging and developing market economies, academic evidence on a destabilizing effect of foreign investment activity is limited. Institutional investors’ systematic preference for stocks of large, well-known, globally visible foreign firms can explain the presence of a home bias in international portfolio investment.
Research limitations – Given the breadth of the two literature streams, only representative studies (over 45 published works) are summarized.
Social implications – Regulators of emerging markets should first improve domestic institutions, governance, and macroeconomic fundamentals, and then deregulate domestic financial and capital markets to avoid economic and financial crises in the initial stages of liberalization reforms.
Originality/value of paper – A useful source of information for graduate students, academics, and practitioners on the importance of foreign institutional investors.
Institutional investors have increasingly gained importance since the early 1990s. The assets under management in these funds have increased threefold since 1990 to reach…
Institutional investors have increasingly gained importance since the early 1990s. The assets under management in these funds have increased threefold since 1990 to reach more than US$45 trillion in 2005, including over US$20 trillion in equity (Ferreira & Matos, 2008). Further, the value of institutional investors' assets represents roughly 162.6% of the OECD gross domestic product in 2005 (Gonnard, Kim, & Ynesta, 2008). Given the magnitude of institutional investors' holdings relative to the world market capitalization, challenging questions on the economic role of these investors have been raised. One such question concerns their impact on the stability of stock markets. On the one hand, active strategies of buying and selling shares by these investors may contribute to moving stock prices away from their fundamental values. On the other hand, if all institutional investors react to the same information in a timely manner, they are in fact helping to increase market efficiency by speeding up the adjustment of prices to new fundamentals (for competing theories on the role of institutional investors, see, e.g., Lakonishok, Shleifer, & Vishny, 1992). This view of institutional investors as “efficiency drivers” generated considerable debate for many years (see, e.g., Ferreira & Laux, 2007; French & Roll, 1986).