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Rating agencies' credit signals: An analysis of sovereign watch and outlook

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  • Alsakka, Rasha
  • ap Gwilym, Owain

Abstract

We analyse sovereign watch and outlook signals from Moody's, S&P and Fitch. Prior literature shows strong market reactions to these signals, which arguably contain more new information than rating changes. We show that the agencies' actions imply different policies: S&P has more emphasis on short-term accuracy, while Moody's actions are consistent with greater stability. We find evidence of momentum in negative (not positive) outlook signals, but no watch momentum. We also examine the lead–lag relationships, finding that S&P (Fitch) demonstrates the least (most) links with other agencies' actions. Moody's tends to be the first mover for positive outlook and watch signals.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finana:v:21:y:2012:i:c:p:45-55
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irfa.2011.10.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Körner, Finn Marten & Trautwein, Hans-Michael, 2015. "Sovereign credit ratings and the transnationalization of finance: Evidence from a gravity model of portfolio investment," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 9, pages 1-54.
    2. Alsakka, Rasha & ap Gwilym, Owain, 2012. "Foreign exchange market reactions to sovereign credit news," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 845-864.
    3. Donato Masciandaro, 2013. "Sovereign debt: financial market over-reliance on credit rating agencies," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Sovereign risk: a world without risk-free assets?, volume 72, pages 50-62 Bank for International Settlements.
    4. Altdörfer, Marc & de las Salas Vega, Carlos A. & Guettler, Andre & Löffler, Gunter, 2016. "European versus Anglo-Saxon credit view: Evidence from the eurozone sovereign debt crisis," IWH Discussion Papers 34/2016, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    5. Do, Hung Xuan & Brooks, Robert & Treepongkaruna, Sirimon & Wu, Eliza, 2014. "The effects of sovereign rating drifts on financial return distributions: Evidence from the European Union," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 5-20.
    6. Huong Dang, 2014. "How dimensions of national culture and institutional characteristics influence sovereign rating migration dynamics," ZenTra Working Papers in Transnational Studies 42 / 2014, ZenTra - Center for Transnational Studies.
    7. Basu, Kaushik & De, Supriyo & Ratha, Dilip & Timmer, Hans, 2013. "Sovereign ratings in the post-crisis world : an analysis of actual, shadow and relative risk ratings," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6641, The World Bank.
    8. Robert Brooks & Robert Faff & Sirimon Treepongkaruna & Eliza Wu, 2015. "Do Sovereign Re-Ratings Destabilize Equity Markets during Financial Crises? New Evidence from Higher Return Moments," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(5-6), pages 777-799, June.
    9. Huseyin Ozturk*, 2014. "The origin of bias in sovereign credit ratings: reconciling agency views with institutional quality," Journal of Developing Areas, Tennessee State University, College of Business, vol. 48(4), pages 161-188, October-D.
    10. Meryem Duygun & Huseyin Ozturk & Mohamed Shaban & Emili Tortosa-Ausina, 2014. "Quo Vadis, raters? A frontier approach to identify misratings in sovereign credit risk," Working Papers 2014/10, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    11. Boffelli, Simona & Urga, Giovanni, 2015. "Macroannouncements, bond auctions and rating actions in the European government bond spreads," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 148-173.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit rating agencies; Sovereign outlook; Sovereign watch; Lead–lag relationship; Momentum;

    JEL classification:

    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services

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