Global BV news: New data on discount rates used in 41 countries

BVWireIssue #153-2
June 10, 2015

A new survey collects information about the discount rate (risk-free rate and the market risk premium) used in 2015 for 41 different countries. Pablo Fernandez, Alberto Ortiz Pizarro, and Isabel Fernández Acín (all with the University of Navarra in Spain) co-authored the survey.

Rate changes: The survey found that the average risk-free rate used in 2015 was less than the one used in 2013 in 26 countries (in 11 of the countries the difference was more than 1%). On the other hand, eight countries used an average risk-free rate in 2015 that was more than 1% higher than the one used in 2013. For the U.S., Europe, and U.K., most of the respondents use a risk-free rate that is greater than the yield for 10-year government bonds. The difference in the average market risk premium used was more than 1% for 13 countries in 2015 versus 2013.

“I started to do surveys to prove that expectations are not homogeneous and there is no single parameter in finance—not even the risk-free rate—that is homogeneous among people,” Pablo Fernandez tells Michael Crain (Financial Valuation Group), a leading business valuation practitioner and researcher, in an exclusive interview. “People use different numbers and put different reasoning behind them. One survey I do every year is about the risk premium. This year I did the risk premium plus the risk-free rate. It’s interesting to see the variety of numbers people use and the different reasons behind the numbers they use.”

Read the full Fernandez interview in the July issue of Business Valuation Update (subscription required).

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