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Credit Rating Agencies And Their Potential Impact On Developing Countries

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  • Marwan Elkhoury

Abstract

Credit rating agencies (CRAs) play a key role in financial markets by helping to reduce the informative asymmetry between lenders and investors, on one side, and issuers on the other side, about the creditworthiness of companies or countries. CRAs´ role has expanded with financial globalization and has received an additional boost from Basel II which incorporates the ratings of CRAs into the rules for setting weights for credit risk. Ratings tend to be sticky, lagging markets, and overreact when they do change. This overreaction may have aggravated financial crises in the recent past, contributing to financial instability and cross-country contagion. The recent bankruptcies of Enron, WorldCom, and Parmalat have prompted legislative scrutiny of the agencies. Criticism has been especially directed towards the high degree of concentration of the industry. Promotion of competition may require policy action at national and international level to encourage the establishment of new agencies and to channel business generated by new regulatory requirements in their direction.

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Paper provided by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in its series UNCTAD Discussion Papers with number 186.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:unc:dispap:186

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  1. Ferri, Giovanni & Liu, Li-Gang & Majnoni, Giovanni, 2001. "The role of rating agency assessments in less developed countries: Impact of the proposed Basel guidelines," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 115-148, January.
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  3. Reinhart, Carmen, 2002. "Default, currency crises, and sovereign credit ratings," MPRA Paper 13917, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Reisen, Helmut, 2002. "Ratings since the Asian Crisis," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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  7. Morris Goldstein & Carmen M. Reinhart, 2000. "Assessing Financial Vulnerability: An Early Warning System for Emerging Markets," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 100.
  8. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
  9. Ramakrishnan, Ram T S & Thakor, Anjan V, 1984. "Information Reliability and a Theory of Financial Intermediation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 415-32, July.
  10. Sy, Amadou N.R., 2004. "Rating the rating agencies: Anticipating currency crises or debt crises?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2845-2867, November.
  11. Giovanni Ferri & Li-Gang Liu, 2003. "How Do Global Credit-Rating Agencies Rate Firms from Developing Countries?," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 2(3), pages 30-56.
  12. Mora, Nada, 2006. "Sovereign credit ratings: Guilty beyond reasonable doubt?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 2041-2062, July.
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