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The impact of bond rating changes on corporate bond prices: New evidence from the over-the-counter market

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  • May, Anthony D.

Abstract

I study the information content of bond ratings changes using daily corporate bond data from TRACE. Abnormal bond returns over a two-day event window that includes the downgrade (upgrade) are negative (positive) and statistically significant, although the reaction to upgrades is economically small. Monthly abnormal bond returns around downgrades and upgrades are statistically significant but overstate the magnitude of the reaction relative to two-day abnormal returns. Unlike the bond market, the stock market reaction to upgrades is statistically insignificant. Evidence suggests that the differing inferences on the effect of upgrades in the two markets can be attributed to wealth transfer effects rather than relative market inefficiencies. In the cross-section, the bond market response is stronger for rating changes that appear more surprising, rating changes of lower rated firms, and upgrades that move the firm from speculative grade to investment grade.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:34:y:2010:i:11:p:2822-2836
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Maul, D. & Schiereck, D., 2016. "The bond event study methodology since 1974," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 80723, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
    2. Aurelio F. Bariviera & Luciano Zunino & M. Belen Guercio & Lisana B. Martinez & Osvaldo A. Rosso, 2015. "Efficiency and credit ratings: a permutation-information-theory analysis," Papers 1509.01839, arXiv.org.
    3. Pilar Abad Romero & María Dolores Robles Fernández, 2012. "Credit rating agencies and unsystematic risk: Is there a linkage?," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 2012-17, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.
    4. 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.
    5. Akhtar, Shumi & Faff, Robert & Oliver, Barry & Subrahmanyam, Avanidhar, 2011. "The power of bad: The negativity bias in Australian consumer sentiment announcements on stock returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 1239-1249, May.
    6. Pilar Abad & M. Dolores Robles & Gare Cuervo, 2013. "Changes in Corporate Debt Ratings and Stock Liquidity: Evidence from the Spanish Market," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 2013-11, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.
    7. Steve Janner & Daniel Schmidt, 2015. "Are economically significant bond returns explained by corporate news? An examination of the German corporate bond market," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer;Swiss Society for Financial Market Research, vol. 29(3), pages 271-298, August.
    8. Chan, Ngai Hang & Wong, Hoi Ying & Zhao, Jing, 2012. "Structural model of credit migration," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 56(11), pages 3477-3490.
    9. Chen, Fan, 2016. "The wealth effects of dividend announcements on bondholders: New evidence from the over-the-counter market," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 52-75.
    10. Schaetzle, Dominik, 2011. "Ökonomische Funktionen von Ratingagenturen: Ratingagenturen in der neoinstitutionalistischen Finanzierungstheorie," Arbeitspapiere 113, University of Münster, Institute for Cooperatives.
    11. repec:eee:ememar:v:32:y:2017:i:c:p:38-51 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. 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.
    13. Schaetzle, Dominik, 2011. "Ratingagenturen in der neoklassischen Finanzierungstheorie: Eine Auswertung empirischer Studien zum Informationsgehalt von Ratings," Arbeitspapiere 110, University of Münster, Institute for Cooperatives.
    14. Ederington, Louis & Guan, Wei & Yang, Lisa (Zongfei), 2015. "Bond market event study methods," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 281-293.
    15. Vu, Huong & Alsakka, Rasha & Gwilym, Owain ap, 2015. "The credit signals that matter most for sovereign bond spreads with split rating," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 174-191.

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