A Multi-Country Study of Factors Affecting Credit Ratings Revisions
This paper reveals findings from extending corporate credit rating studies towards (i) new ratings, affirmation, confirmation, watchlists, and withdrawal, which together represent five out of eight rating types yet to be studied rigorously (there are several papers on upgrades and downgrades); and (ii) identifying key firm-specific factors affecting stock prices around the rating revisions in markets not yet studied. The firmspecific factor effects are measured using the Ordered Probit methodology. Results show that investment and speculation grade issues have the most pronounced effects on price changes. Further findings are: interest-coverage, profitability and leverage ratios, all of which stand out as the most relevant firm-specific factors correlated with stock price changes. An interesting new finding is the discovery of corruption perception scores as a new measure is significantly influencing affirmation, confirmation and downgrade ratings. These new findings are likely to be of interest to investors, corporations wanting to know rating change effects and the external regulators concerned with financial weaknesses/strengths of listed firms facing rating changes.
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