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Keywords:

  • asset pricing;
  • Euro corporate bonds;
  • factor models;
  • financial crisis;
  • anomalies

Abstract

We examine monthly excess returns for 23 Euro-denominated corporate bond indices and propose a new specification for bond asset pricing models. Specifically, we separate level and slope components of term and default risk factors and examine liquidity risk. Our results suggest that level and slope risk factors, derived from complete interest rate and default spread term structures, significantly improve the explanatory power of the Fama and French (1993) 2-factor model. We also demonstrate different sensitivities of risk factors before and after recent financial crisis. The results are robust to calendar seasonality and the consideration of equity market returns.