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Solicited and Unsolicited Credit Ratings : A Global Perspective

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  • Winnie P. H. Poon

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

  • Kam C. Chan
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    Abstract

    We conducted a global study of the long-term issuer ratings of nonfinancial firms from Standard and Poor's Ratings Services (S&P) for the period 19982003. Specifically, we focused on the solicited versus unsolicited ratings and sample-selection bias in the analysis. Unlike the literature, we adopted an improved method using Wooldridges instrumental-variable approach to mitigate the concern of specification errors in Heckmans model. We found that the probability of seeking a long-term issuer rating is positively related to the size and profitability of the firm, and negatively related to the growth opportunities and debt levels of the firm. The credit rating is positively related to the sovereign rating, size, and profitability of the issuer, and negatively related to the debt ratio of the issuer. Consistent with the literature, we found sample-selection bias in credit ratings. Our findings suggest that the firms with solicited ratings seem to be more profitable, more liquid, and have lower leverage than the issuers with unsolicited ratings. After controlling for sample-selection bias and some key financial ratios, we found that unsolicited firms, on average, seem to have lower long-term issuer ratings.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series Finance Working Papers with number 22815.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:eab:financ:22815

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    Keywords: issuer ratings; solicited ratings; unsolicited ratings;

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    2. Winnie P. H. Poon & Junsoo Lee & Benton E. Gup, 2009. "Do Solicitations Matter in Bank Credit Ratings? Results from a Study of 72 Countries," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2-3), pages 285-314, 03.
    3. Behr, Patrick & Güttler, André, 2008. "The informational content of unsolicited ratings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 587-599, April.
    4. Winnie P. H. Poon & Michael Firth, 2005. "Are Unsolicited Credit Ratings Lower? International Evidence From Bank Ratings," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(9-10), pages 1741-1771.
    5. Lin, Chen & Su, Dongwei, 2008. "Industrial diversification, partial privatization and firm valuation: Evidence from publicly listed firms in China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 405-417, September.
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