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Split bond ratings and rating migration

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  • Livingston, Miles
  • Naranjo, Andy
  • Zhou, Lei
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the relationships between split ratings and ratings migration. We find that bonds with split ratings are more likely to have future rating changes. A one-notch (more-than-one-notch) split rating increases the probability of rating change within one year of initial issuance by about 3% (6%). Furthermore, we find that about 30% of split rated bonds have their two ratings converge after four years of initial issuance. The rating convergence tapers off after three years, and the rating agency with a higher (lower) initial rating generally maintains a higher (lower) rating in subsequent years if the two ratings do not converge. We also show that rating transition estimation can be improved by taking into consideration split ratings. We find that one-year rating transition matrices are significantly different between non-letter-split rated bonds and letter-split rated bonds, and we show that the difference has an economically significant impact on the pricing of credit spread options and VaR-based risk management models. Overall, our results suggest that split ratings contain important information about subsequent rating changes.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 8 (August)
    Pages: 1613-1624

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:32:y:2008:i:8:p:1613-1624

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

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    1. Miles Livingston & Andy Naranjo & Lei Zhou, 2007. "Asset Opaqueness and Split Bond Ratings," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 36(3), pages 49-62, 09.
    2. Doron Kliger & Oded Sarig, 2000. "The Information Value of Bond Ratings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2879-2902, December.
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    4. Jarrow, Robert A & Lando, David & Turnbull, Stuart M, 1997. "A Markov Model for the Term Structure of Credit Risk Spreads," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(2), pages 481-523.
    5. Santos, Joao A.C., 2006. "Why firm access to the bond market differs over the business cycle: A theory and some evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(10), pages 2715-2736, October.
    6. Hand, John R M & Holthausen, Robert W & Leftwich, Richard W, 1992. " The Effect of Bond Rating Agency Announcements on Bond and Stock Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 733-52, June.
    7. Jarrow, Robert A & Turnbull, Stuart M, 1995. " Pricing Derivatives on Financial Securities Subject to Credit Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 53-85, March.
    8. Christensen, Jens H.E. & Hansen, Ernst & Lando, David, 2004. "Confidence sets for continuous-time rating transition probabilities," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2575-2602, November.
    9. Jafry, Yusuf & Schuermann, Til, 2004. "Measurement, estimation and comparison of credit migration matrices," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2603-2639, November.
    10. Richard Cantor & Frank Packer & Kevin Cole, 1997. "Split ratings and the pricing of credit risk," Research Paper 9711, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    11. Dan Covitz & Paul Harrison, 2000. "The timing of debt issuance and rating migration: theory and evidence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    12. Hanson, Samuel & Schuermann, Til, 2006. "Confidence intervals for probabilities of default," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 2281-2301, August.
    13. Donald P. Morgan, 2002. "Rating Banks: Risk and Uncertainty in an Opaque Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 874-888, September.
    14. Pamela Nickell & William Perraudin & Simone Varotto, 2001. "Stability of ratings transitions," Bank of England working papers 133, Bank of England.
    15. Lando, David & Skodeberg, Torben M., 2002. "Analyzing rating transitions and rating drift with continuous observations," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2-3), pages 423-444, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Güntay, Levent & Hackbarth, Dirk, 2010. "Corporate bond credit spreads and forecast dispersion," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 2328-2345, October.
    2. Williams, Gwion & Alsakka, Rasha & ap Gwilym, Owain, 2013. "The impact of sovereign rating actions on bank ratings in emerging markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 563-577.
    3. Al-Sakka, Rasha & ap Gwilym, Owain, 2010. "Split sovereign ratings and rating migrations in emerging economies," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 79-97, June.
    4. Dimitris Gavalas & Theodore Syriopoulos, 2014. "Bank Credit Risk Management and Migration Analysis; Conditioning Transition Matrices on the Stage of the Business Cycle," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 151-166, May.
    5. Tsaig, Yaakov & Levy, Amnon & Wang, Yashan, 2011. "Analyzing the impact of credit migration in a portfolio setting," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 3145-3157.
    6. Rasha Alsakka & Owain ap Gwilym, 2010. "The Extent and Causes of Sovereign Split Ratings," Working Papers 10008, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
    7. Andres, Christian & Betzer, André & Limbach, Peter, 2014. "Underwriter reputation and the quality of certification: Evidence from high-yield bonds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 97-115.
    8. Christian Andres & André Betzer & Peter Limbach, 2013. "Underwriter Reputation and the Quality of Certification: Evidence from High-Yield Bonds," Schumpeter Discussion Papers SDP13006, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    9. Hill, Paula & Brooks, Robert & Faff, Robert, 2010. "Variations in sovereign credit quality assessments across rating agencies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1327-1343, June.
    10. Chateau, John-Peter D., 2009. "Marking-to-model credit and operational risks of loan commitments: A Basel-2 advanced internal ratings-based approach," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 260-270, December.
    11. Dorn, Jochen, 2010. "Modeling of CPDOs - Identifying optimal and implied leverage," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1371-1382, June.
    12. Stolper, Anno, 2009. "Regulation of credit rating agencies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1266-1273, July.
    13. Al-Sakka, Rasha & ap Gwilym, Owain, 2009. "Heterogeneity of sovereign rating migrations in emerging countries," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 151-165, June.
    14. May, Anthony D., 2010. "The impact of bond rating changes on corporate bond prices: New evidence from the over-the-counter market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 2822-2836, November.
    15. Alsakka, Rasha & ap Gwilym, Owain, 2010. "Leads and lags in sovereign credit ratings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 2614-2626, November.
    16. Alsakka, Rasha & ap Gwilym, Owain, 2012. "Rating agencies' credit signals: An analysis of sovereign watch and outlook," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 45-55.
    17. Alexandr Karminsky & Anatoly Peresetsky, 2009. "Ratings as Measure of Financial Risk: Evolution, Function and Usage," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 1-2, pages 86-102.
    18. Bannier, Christina E. & Hirsch, Christian W., 2010. "The economic function of credit rating agencies - What does the watchlist tell us?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 3037-3049, December.

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