Causal Effect of Financial Market Frictions and Flight to Quality on Cost of Credit in Kenya

Barnabas Ochieng’ Onyango, Alphonce Juma Odondo, John Ernest Odada


Financial market conditions have been declining over the past ten years globally as most developing countries continue to adopt more liberal financial policies, such conditions may amplify adverse shocks to the economy. The Kenyan Banking sector was highly profitable before the implementation of financial market frictions, with industry return on equity’s average of 20%. The ratio of credit supply to gross domestic product was 35%; and the economy grew by 5.6 %. Nonetheless, after its adoption, listed Banks recorded negative Earnings per Share growth of 8.2%, compared to an average positive growth of 14.1%, The Net Interest Margin declined to 8.4% from 9.4%. Studies relating to financial market frictions, flight to quality and Cost of Credit have produced mixed results. It was on this basis that this study sought to establish the effect of financial market frictions and flight to quality on cost of credit in Kenya. The study adopted correlational research design. Secondary data from the Kenyan Market for the period January 2009 to December 2019 was analyzed. Augmented Dickey Fuller and Philips-perron unit-root test was used to test the stationarity of the data. VECM was estimated to establish the speed of adjustment towards the long run equilibrium; Wald statistics was also estimated to establish short run causalities amongst the variables. Based on cointegrating equations, the error correction term indicated a negative sign and was significant at 5% level (C (1) = -0.153042, .0429 < 0.05), an indication that a long run relationship exists amongst the variables. Wald statistics revealed that the estimated coefficients in the VECM were insignificantly different from zero (.8417; .5603; .9188>p=0.05),however, Central Bank rate was found to be different from zero and significant at 5% level (.0163>p=0.05), an indication that there was a short run casualty running from the Central Bank rate to cost of credit. The study therefore recommends that for Micro finance institutions to maximize their profits they should adopt new technologies like Mobile Banking for their credit facilities, this does not require administrative and operation costs, in a bid to cope with the market shocks and frictions.

Keywords: Financial Market Frictions, Flight to Quality, Cost of Credit, Kenya

DOI: 10.7176/JESD/12-6-07

Publication date:March 31st 2021

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