In addition to his general data update for 2013, Prof. Aswath Damodaran (NYU Stern School of Business) provides a list of country default spreads and risk premiums. “This is actually the most downloaded page by far,” the professor told a packed house during last week’s meeting of the CalCPA Business Valuation Section in Los Angeles. “The other pages don’t even come close.”
Damodaran’s data “get used in the strangest places,” he added, during his day-long session on the “dark side” of valuation. He even got an email from the New Zealand Milk Board and one from a businessman in Lebanon “who blamed me for his country’s problems.” But as BV analysts know—particularly when valuing companies with substantial foreign operations—the country-specific input can be critical. “You must attach a risk premium incorporating that country risk, by either adjusting the cash flows or changing the discount rate,” Damodaran told CalCPA attendees. “It’s not just emerging companies you have to worry about.” To aid in the exercise, the professor has also posted his article, “Country Risk and Company Exposure: Theory and Practice,” on his website.