We investigate whether the product diversification activities of South Asian banking institutions have led to an increase or decrease in their solvency and profit risks. Using the data of five countries–India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka–for the period 2000–2016, we analyse the effect of both income and assets diversification activities on the Z-score and SDs of ROA (Return on Assets) and ROE Return on Equity). Among income diversification activities, securities trading income has a significant positive influence on bank risk while other categories have no influence. With respect to assets diversification, non-interest-bearing assets and loans given to government were found to have a significant positive influence on bank risk, while mortgage loans and non-classified loans have opposite influences. However, the impacts of securities trading income and loans given to the government are mainly confined to private sector banks and state-owned banks, respectively. We also uncover some country-specific diversification influences on the above relationships.
- South Asia
- banking institutions