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Article
Publication date: 18 November 2019

Kerstin Lopatta, Magdalena Tchikov and Finn Marten Körner

A credit rating, as a single indicator on one consistent scale, is designed as an objective and comparable measure within a credit rating agency (CRA). While research…

Abstract

Purpose

A credit rating, as a single indicator on one consistent scale, is designed as an objective and comparable measure within a credit rating agency (CRA). While research focuses mainly on the comparability of ratings between agencies, this paper additionally questions empirically how CRAs meet their promise of providing a consistent assessment of credit risk for issuers within and between market segments of the same agency.

Design/methodology/approach

Exhaustive and robust regression analyses are run to assess the impact of market sectors and rating agencies on credit ratings. The examinations consider the rating level, as well as rating downgrades as a further measure of empirical credit risk. Data stems from a large global sample of Bloomberg ratings from 11 market sectors for the period 2010-2018.

Findings

The analyses show differing effects of sectors and agencies on issuer ratings and downgrade probabilities. Empirical results on credit ratings and rating downgrades can then be attributed to investment grade and non-investment grade ratings.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to current finance research and practice by examining the credit rating differences between sectors and agencies and providing assistance to investors and other stakeholders, as well as researchers, how issuers’ sector and rating agency affiliations act as relative metrics.

Details

The Journal of Risk Finance, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1526-5943

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Finn Marten Körner and Hans-Michael Trautwein

The purpose of this paper is to test the hypothesis that major credit rating agencies (CRAs) have been inconsistent in assessing the implications of monetary union…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the hypothesis that major credit rating agencies (CRAs) have been inconsistent in assessing the implications of monetary union membership for sovereign risks. It is frequently argued that CRAs have acted procyclically in their rating of sovereign debt in the European Monetary Union (EMU), underestimating sovereign risk in the early years and over-rating the lack of national monetary sovereignty since the onset of the Eurozone debt crisis. Yet, there is little direct evidence for this so far. While CRAs are quite explicit about their risk assessments concerning public debt that is denominated in foreign currency, the same cannot be said about their treatment of sovereign debt issued in the currency of a monetary union.

Design/methodology/approach

While CRAs are quite explicit about their risk assessments concerning public debt that is denominated in foreign currency, the same cannot be said about their treatment of sovereign debt issued in the currency of a monetary union. This paper examines the major CRAs’ methodologies for rating sovereign debt and test their sovereign credit ratings for a monetary union bonus in good times and a malus, akin to the “original sin” problem of emerging market countries, in bad times.

Findings

Using a newly compiled dataset of quarterly sovereign bond ratings from 1990 until 2012, the panel regression estimation results find strong evidence that EMU countries received a rating bonus on euro-denominated debt before the European debt crisis and a large penalty after 2010.

Practical implications

The crisis has brought to light that EMU countries’ euro-denominated debt may not be considered as local currency debt from a rating perspective after all.

Originality/value

In addition to quantifying the local currency bonus and malus, this paper shows the fundamental problem of rating sovereign debt of monetary union members and provide approaches to estimating it over time.

Details

The Journal of Risk Finance, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1526-5943

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Christian Fieberg, Finn Marten Körner, Jörg Prokop and Armin Varmaz

The purpose of this paper is to study the information content of about 3,300 global bank rating changes before and after the Lehman bankruptcy in September 2008 to assess…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the information content of about 3,300 global bank rating changes before and after the Lehman bankruptcy in September 2008 to assess if differences in stock market reactions for small and big banks emerge.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis of the stock market reactions of rating changes (upgrades and downgrades) and bank’s size (small and big) is conducted by an event study approach.

Findings

The authors find that while upgrades are not associated with significant abnormal bank stock returns, downgrades have a significantly negative effect. This result holds for both small and big banks, while negative abnormal returns are considerably stronger for the former. For small banks, the authors observe an increase in negative cumulative abnormal returns post-Lehman. The lack of a reaction to large banks’ rating downgrades in the narrow [−1,+1] event window indicates that their stock prices may, to some extent, be insulated from negative rating information even post-Lehman, which the authors attribute to an implicit “too big to fail” subsidy anticipated by equity investors.

Originality/value

This paper provides insights to the differences in the information content of changes in small and big banks’ credit rating on stock returns that is unrelated to the well-known size effect. Compared to small banks, big banks seem to some extent be insulated from negative rating changes even post-Lehman – contributing to the on-going too big to fail debate.

Details

The Journal of Risk Finance, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1526-5943

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Bonnie G Buchanan

Abstract

Details

The Journal of Risk Finance, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1526-5943

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 20 June 2017

David Shinar

Abstract

Details

Traffic Safety and Human Behavior
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-222-4

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