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Article
Publication date: 15 January 2018

Philani Shandu, Gideon Boako and Paul Alagidede

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the information-based microstructure theory’s effectiveness in explaining short-term disturbances in currency prices by…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the information-based microstructure theory’s effectiveness in explaining short-term disturbances in currency prices by determining whether the price discovery process in the US dollar (USD) and South African rand (ZAR)-USD/ZAR spot market is led by an individual market agent, around an exogenous news event.

Design/methodology/approach

The influence of central bank intervention-related events on USD/ZAR volatility is investigated through the application of Brown-Forsythe variance equality tests on individual dealer and market quotes. Furthermore, the study applies bivariate Granger-causality tests to individual dealers’ USD/ZAR spot rate quotes, in an effort to determine whether certain dealers can be established as price leaders around an exogenous news event.

Findings

The study finds significant evidence to suggest the USD/ZAR market price leadership of Nomura forex (FX) prior to the public announcement of a South African Reserve Bank intervention-related news event. This finding supports microstructure theory’s assertions regarding the existence of foreign-exchange market characteristics such as trader heterogeneity and private information.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is conducted on a sample of eight USD/ZAR market agents, of which six are offshore dealers, and only two are located locally. Although these proportions are somewhat relatable to the locations of rand turnover, it would still be interesting to investigate the existence of price leadership solely amongst South African authorised FX dealers.

Practical implications

The results suggest the existence and price relevance of private information, as well as the heterogeneous nature of USD/ZAR market participants, based on informational asymmetries. The outcomes of the paper are useful to market participants, researchers, and central banks alike.

Originality/value

Though the study does not impugn the body of work related to the orthodox macroeconomic approaches to exchange rate determination, it seems apparent that much more microstructure-related research still has to be conducted in the context of emerging market currencies. It is this void that the current study has attempted to provide for in contribution to literature.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Zuziwe Ntsalaze, Gideon Boako and Paul Alagidede

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of sovereign credit ratings on corporations in South Africa by assessing whether the sovereign rating assigned to South…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of sovereign credit ratings on corporations in South Africa by assessing whether the sovereign rating assigned to South Africa by credit rating agencies acts as a ceiling/constraint for credit ratings assigned to corporations that operate within the country. The question of whether sovereign ratings are significant in determining corporate ratings was also explored.

Design/methodology/approach

To test the hypothesis regarding the rating of corporates relative to sovereigns, a longitudinal panel design was followed. The analysis employed fixed effects and generalized method of moments techniques.

Findings

The main findings are that sovereign ratings both act as a ceiling for corporate ratings and are important determinants of corporate ratings in South Africa. The findings however indicated that company specific variables (accounting variables) are not significant in explaining credit risk ratings assigned to corporates.

Research limitations/implications

This study only looked at the rating activity done by Standard and Poor’s (S&P). A possible further study could explore the hypothesis tested in this research using data from multiple rating agencies and contrast the results across different agencies. Future studies could also look at crisis periods and how the transfer risk discussed in this paper manifests during the transfer period.

Practical implications

The results have implications for the borrowing costs incurred by corporates in South Africa when participating in the international debt market. The implication is that if the sovereign is poorly rated, the corporates may be limited in their ability to secure investor funding at competitive rates from the international financial markets. Thus, should South Africa be downgraded to non-investment grade by S&P, the implications may be that South African corporates on average may suffer the same fate.

Originality/value

Extant literature predominantly utilizes foreign currency ratings. To the extent that this study uses local currency ratings, it adds a new dimension in the body of related studies.

Details

African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-0705

Keywords

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