Research articles for the 2019-03-09

A General Valuation Framework for SABR and Stochastic Local Volatility Models
Cui, Zhenyu,Kirkby, Justin,Nguyen, Duy
In this paper, we propose a general framework for the valuation of options in stochas-tic local volatility (SLV) models with a general correlation structure, which includes the Stochastic Alpha Beta Rho (SABR) model and the quadratic SLV model as special cases. Standard stochastic volatility models, such as Heston, Hull-White, Scott, Stein-Stein, α-Hypergeometric, 3/2, 4/2, mean-reverting, and Jacobi stochastic volatility models, also fall within this general framework. We propose a novel double-layer continuous-time Markov chain (CTMC) approximation respectively for the variance process and the underlying asset price process. The resulting regime-switching continuous-time Markov chain is further reduced to a single CTMC on an enlarged state space. Closed-form matrix expressions for European options are derived. We also propose a recursive risk-neutral valuation technique for pricing discretely monitored path-dependent options, and use it to price Bermudan and barrier options. In addition, we provide single Laplace transform formulae for arithmetic Asian options as well as occupation time derivatives. Numerical examples demonstrate the accuracy and efficiency of the method using several popular SLV models, and reference prices are provided for SABR, Heston-SABR, quadratic SLV, and the Jacobi model.

Dynamics of Deterioration in Internal Control Reported under SOX 404
Chen, Chunhua,Li, Tianze,Shao, Ruiqing,Zheng, Steven Xiaofan
We examine why many firms disclose internal control weaknesses (ICW) under section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley Act after previously reporting effective internal control (IC). We find that about half of the cross-sectional ICW determinant variables either do not change significantly from Year T-1 to Year T or change in a direction that is not expected to cause IC deterioration. The reported deterioration in IC can be attributed to increases in audit fee, management turnover, restatement, financial distress, firm size, and decrease in financial activities. Consistent with an agency hypothesis that managers try to manipulate the IC process when firm performance declines, the reported deterioration in IC is also associated with poor stock returns in the year before disclosure. ICW disclosure is more likely when poor stock return is combined with higher sensitivity of executive compensation to stock price change.

Internal Control Weakness, Investment and Firm Valuation
Jacoby, Gady,Li, Yingqi,Li, Tianze,Zheng, Steven Xiaofan
We propose reduced investment as a potential explanation for why firms with internal control weakness (ICW) exhibit lower valuation relative to non-ICW firms. We show that ICW firms significantly reduce investment around ICW disclosure and also have poor stock performance. Additional evidence shows that many of the investment reductions have been announced during the year before ICW disclosure. A possible explanation for investment reductions is the higher costs of financial friction associated with ICW. Consistent with this explanation, we show that ICW firms with credit ratings do not reduce their investment as much and have much better stock performance than ICW firms without credit ratings.

Sovereign Ratings and Finance Ministers’ Characteristics
Afonso, Antonio,Jalles, João Tovar
This paper empirically assesses the effect of a newly-compiled set of finance ministers´ characteristics on the setting by rating agencies of the long-term sovereign rating notations. Using a sample of 26 EU countries between 1980-2012, we find that the existence of more focused delegation-oriented fiscal framework, the Minister of Finance being a woman, and the Minister of Finance having a degree in the areas of finance or “hard sciences” seems to contribute to a better sovereign rating notation, and the opposite in the case of a Law background.