Catastrophe bond pricing in the primary market: the issuer effect and pricing factors

Marian Chatoro, Sovan Mitra, Athanasios A. Pantelous*, Jia Shao

*Corresponding author for this work

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COVID pandemic has highlighted the importance of hedging against catastrophic events, for which the catastrophe bond market plays a critical role. Our paper develops a two-level modelling and uses a unique, hand-collected dataset, which is one of the largest and most detailed datasets to date containing: 101 different issuers, 794 different bonds, spanning 1997–2020. We identify issuer effects robustly, isolating them from bond specific pricing effects, therefore providing more credible pricing factor results. We find that bond pricing and volatility are heavily impacted by the issuer, causing 26% of total price variation. We also identify specific issuer characteristics that significantly impact bond pricing and volatility, such as the issuer’s line of business accounting for up to 36% of total price variation. We further find that issuer effects are significant over different market cycles and time periods, causing substantial price variation. The size and content of our data also enables us to identify the counter-intuitive relation between bond premiums and maturity, and bond premiums and hybrid bond triggers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102431
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Review of Financial Analysis
Early online date17 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Catastrophe risk bonds
  • Primary market
  • Multilevel modelling
  • Issuer effect
  • Hedging


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