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Why are conversion-forcing call announcements associated with negative wealth effects?

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Abstract

We analyze call announcement returns taking into account two recent developments in the convertible bond market: the inclusion of dividend protection clauses in convertibles' terms, and the high fraction of convertible issues purchased by hedge funds. Calls of dividend-protected convertible bonds are predictable, yet we still observe a negative stock price reaction that cannot be explained by signaling. Greater hedge fund involvement prior to a call means less short selling in response to the call and we document a reduced price reaction. We conclude that price pressure and not signaling underlies the negative announcement effect of convertible bond calls.

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