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Explaining repo specialness

Dufour, A., Marra, M., Sangiorgi, I. and Skinner, F. S. (2020) Explaining repo specialness. International Journal of Finance & Economics, 25 (2). pp. 172-196. ISSN 1099-1158

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/ijfe.1746


We study the dynamics of specialness for 1-day repo contracts on Italian government bonds over a 10-year sample period. As predicted by Duffie’s (1996) model, our results show that collateral supply is a significant factor for specialness. However, we enrich that finding by also showing a clear impact from repo liquidity, collateral riskiness, information uncertainty and short-selling proxies, revealing the importance of speculative bond demand for specialness. During crisis periods, bond fire sales and European Central Bank interventions also have a large impact on repo specialness. We identify recurrent patterns for specialness around bond auctions. Specialness increases steadily from the auction announcement date until a few days before the auction settlement date, which is consistent with overbidding behavior and a short selling of treasuries (via reverse repos) from primary dealers ahead of auctions.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > ICMA Centre
ID Code:84015
Uncontrolled Keywords:Repo specialness, short selling, fire sales, liquidity, auctions, high-frequency data


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