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Credit rating agencies and unsystematic risk: Is there a linkage?

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Abstract

This study analyzes the effects of six different credit rating announcements on systematic and unsystematic risk in Spanish companies listed on the Electronic Continuous Stock Market from 1988 to 2010. We use an extension of the event study dummy approach that includes direct effects on beta risk and on volatility. We find effects in both kinds of risk, indicating that rating agencies provide information to the market. Rating actions that imply an improvement in credit quality cause lower systematic and unsystematic risk. Conversely, ratings announcements that imply credit quality deterioration cause a rebalance in both types of risk, with higher beta risk being joined with lower diversifiable risk. Although the event characteristics were not important to determine how the two types of risk reacted to rating actions, the 2007 economic and financial crises increase the market’s sensitivity to these characteristics.

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Paper provided by Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales in its series Documentos del Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico with number 2012-17.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucm:doicae:1217

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Keywords: Credit rating agencies; Rating changes; Market model; GARCH; Stock Returns; Systematic risk; Unsystematic The information provided by Fitch and Moody’s is appreciated. Any errors are solely the responsibility of the authors. This work has been funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (ECO2009-10398/ECON and ECO2011-23959); Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha (PCI08-0089) and Banco de Santander (UCM940063).;

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  1. Arnoud W. A. Boot & Todd T. Milbourn, 2002. "Credit Ratings as Coordination Mechanisms," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 457, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. John Y. Campbell, 2001. "Have Individual Stocks Become More Volatile? An Empirical Exploration of Idiosyncratic Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 1-43, 02.
  3. Angelidis, Timotheos & Tessaromatis, Nikolaos, 2009. "Idiosyncratic risk matters! A regime switching approach," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 132-141, January.
  4. 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.
  5. Amit Goyal & Pedro Santa-Clara, 2003. "Idiosyncratic Risk Matters!," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 975-1008, 06.
  6. Jorion, Philippe & Liu, Zhu & Shi, Charles, 2005. "Informational effects of regulation FD: evidence from rating agencies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 309-330, May.
  7. Pilar Abad-Romero & M. Robles-Fernández, 2007. "Bond rating changes and stock returns: evidence from the Spanish stock market," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 79-103, June.
  8. Ilia D. Dichev, 2001. "The Long-Run Stock Returns Following Bond Ratings Changes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 173-203, 02.
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