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The Effect of Bond Rating Changes and New Ratings on UK Stock Returns

Author

Listed:
  • M.J. Barron

    (ISMA Centre, University of Reading,)

  • A.D. Clare

    (ISMA Centre, University of Reading,)

  • S.H. Thomas

Abstract

This is the first study to use daily data from a major capital market outside of the US to examine the role of corporate bond and commercial paper rating changes on common stock returns. Using data published by Standard and Poors' credit rating agency between 1984 and 1992, we examine the impact of new credit ratings, credit rating changes and Credit Watch announcements on UK common stock returns. We find significant negative excess returns around the date of a downgrade and positive returns close to the date of a positive CreditWatch announcement. Hence, the financial markets would appear to place some importance on rating agency pronouncements in the UK. New ratings, whether short or long-term, have no significant impact on returns. We also attempt to quantify the impact of a new credit rating upon firm cost of capital through measures of conditional volatility and systematic risk. However, we find only weak evidence to suggest that a stock's cost of capital is reduced after a long-term credit rating is awarded for the first time. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd 1997.

Suggested Citation

  • M.J. Barron & A.D. Clare & S.H. Thomas, 1997. "The Effect of Bond Rating Changes and New Ratings on UK Stock Returns," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 497-509.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jbfnac:v:24:y:1997-04:i:3:p:497-509
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    Cited by:

    1. Pilar Abad Romero & Maria Dolores Robles Fernández, 2014. "The Risk-Return binomial after rating changes," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 2014-23, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.
    2. Pilar Abad-Romero & M. Robles-Fernández, 2007. "Bond rating changes and stock returns: evidence from the Spanish stock market," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 79-103, June.
    3. Maxime Merli & Alain Schatt, 2003. "Contagion effects of successive bond rating downgrades," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2003-02, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
    4. Giovanni Ferri & Andrea Morone, 2014. "The effect of rating agencies on herd behaviour," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 9(1), pages 107-127, April.
    5. Finnerty, John D. & Miller, Cameron D. & Chen, Ren-Raw, 2013. "The impact of credit rating announcements on credit default swap spreads," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2011-2030.
    6. María Concepción Verona Martel & José Juan Déniz Mayor, 2011. "Las agencias de rating y la crisis fi nanciera de 2008: ¿El fi n de un poder sin control?," REVISTA CRITERIO LIBRE, UNIVERSIDAD LIBRE - SEDE PRINCIPAL, June.
    7. 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.
    8. Bissoondoyal-Bheenick, Emawtee, 2004. "Rating timing differences between the two leading agencies: Standard and Poor's and Moody's," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 361-378, September.
    9. Pilar Abad-Romero & M. Dolores Robles-Fernandez, 2006. "Risk and Return Around Bond Rating Changes: New Evidence From the Spanish Stock Market," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(5-6), pages 885-908.
    10. Belen Nieto & Rosa Rodriguez, 2015. "Corporate Stock and Bond Return Correlations and Dynamic Adjustments of Capital Structure," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(5-6), pages 705-746, June.
    11. Flávia Cruz de Souza Murcia & Fernando Dal-Ri Murcia & José Alonso Borba, 2013. "The Informational Content of Credit Ratings in Brazil: An Event Study," Brazilian Review of Finance, Brazilian Society of Finance, vol. 11(4), pages 503-526.
    12. Abad, Pilar & Robles, M. Dolores, 2014. "Credit rating agencies and idiosyncratic risk: Is there a linkage? Evidence from the Spanish Market," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 152-171.
    13. Bissoondoyal-Bheenick, Emawtee, 2005. "An analysis of the determinants of sovereign ratings," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 251-280, February.
    14. Mendoza-Velázquez, Alfonso, 2009. "The Information Content and Redistribution Effects of State and Municipal Rating Changes in Mexico," Economics Discussion Papers 2009-17, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    15. Mendoza-Velázquez, Alfonso, 2009. "The information content and redistribution effects of state and municipal rating changes in Mexico," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 3, pages 1-21.
    16. Afik, Zvika & Feinstein, Itai & Galil, Koresh, 2014. "The (un)informative value of credit rating announcements in small markets," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 14(C), pages 66-80.
    17. Brooks, Robert & Faff, Robert W. & Hillier, David & Hillier, Joseph, 2004. "The national market impact of sovereign rating changes," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 233-250, January.
    18. Shoaib Ali & Attiya Yasmin Javid, 2015. "Relationship between Credit Rating, Capital Structure and Earning Management Behaviour: Evidence from Pakistani Listed Firms," PIDE-Working Papers 2015:121, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    19. Chan, Pak To & Edwards, Vic & Walter, Terry, 2009. "The information content of Australian credit ratings: A comparison between subscription and non-subscription-based credit rating agencies," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 22-44, March.
    20. Ting-Kai Chou, 2013. "Information content of credit ratings in pricing of future earnings," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 217-250, February.
    21. Hu, Haoshen & Kaspereit, Thomas & Prokop, Jörg, 2016. "The information content of issuer rating changes: Evidence for the G7 stock markets," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 99-108.
    22. Maxime Merli & Alain Schatt, 2007. "Are there contagion or competition effects for non rated firms?The case of successive bond rating downgrades of Alcatel," Working Papers CREGO 1070603, Université de Bourgogne - CREGO EA7317 Centre de recherches en gestion des organisations.

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