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Split bond ratings and rating migration

  • Livingston, Miles
  • Naranjo, Andy
  • Zhou, Lei
Registered author(s):

    This paper examines the relationships between split ratings and ratings migration. We find that bonds with split ratings are more likely to have future rating changes. A one-notch (more-than-one-notch) split rating increases the probability of rating change within one year of initial issuance by about 3% (6%). Furthermore, we find that about 30% of split rated bonds have their two ratings converge after four years of initial issuance. The rating convergence tapers off after three years, and the rating agency with a higher (lower) initial rating generally maintains a higher (lower) rating in subsequent years if the two ratings do not converge. We also show that rating transition estimation can be improved by taking into consideration split ratings. We find that one-year rating transition matrices are significantly different between non-letter-split rated bonds and letter-split rated bonds, and we show that the difference has an economically significant impact on the pricing of credit spread options and VaR-based risk management models. Overall, our results suggest that split ratings contain important information about subsequent rating changes.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VCY-4RC2S0F-1/1/157c5aac3145b6b00eac54bc98c12ef4
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 8 (August)
    Pages: 1613-1624

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:32:y:2008:i:8:p:1613-1624
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

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    1. Doron Kliger & Oded Sarig, . "The Information Value of Bond Ratings," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 13-97, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    2. Miles Livingston & Andy Naranjo & Lei Zhou, 2007. "Asset Opaqueness and Split Bond Ratings," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 36(3), pages 49-62, 09.
    3. Hanson, Samuel & Schuermann, Til, 2006. "Confidence intervals for probabilities of default," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 2281-2301, August.
    4. Dan Covitz & Paul Harrison, 2000. "The timing of debt issuance and rating migration: theory and evidence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Nickell, Pamela & Perraudin, William & Varotto, Simone, 2000. "Stability of rating transitions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 203-227, January.
    6. Jarrow, Robert A & Turnbull, Stuart M, 1995. " Pricing Derivatives on Financial Securities Subject to Credit Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 53-85, March.
    7. Santos, Joao A.C., 2006. "Why firm access to the bond market differs over the business cycle: A theory and some evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(10), pages 2715-2736, October.
    8. Lando, David & Skodeberg, Torben M., 2002. "Analyzing rating transitions and rating drift with continuous observations," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2-3), pages 423-444, March.
    9. Donald P. Morgan, 2002. "Rating Banks: Risk and Uncertainty in an Opaque Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 874-888, September.
    10. Richard Cantor & Frank Packer & Kevin Cole, 1997. "Split ratings and the pricing of credit risk," Research Paper 9711, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    11. Jafry, Yusuf & Schuermann, Til, 2004. "Measurement, estimation and comparison of credit migration matrices," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2603-2639, November.
    12. Hand, John R M & Holthausen, Robert W & Leftwich, Richard W, 1992. " The Effect of Bond Rating Agency Announcements on Bond and Stock Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 733-52, June.
    13. Jarrow, Robert A & Lando, David & Turnbull, Stuart M, 1997. "A Markov Model for the Term Structure of Credit Risk Spreads," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(2), pages 481-523.
    14. Christensen, Jens H.E. & Hansen, Ernst & Lando, David, 2004. "Confidence sets for continuous-time rating transition probabilities," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2575-2602, November.
    15. Darren J. Kisgen, 2006. "Credit Ratings and Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(3), pages 1035-1072, 06.
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