On syndicate composition, corporate structure and the certification effect of credit ratings
We assess the relative importance of ratings versus stock exchange listings in reducing information asymmetry using a dataset of syndicated loans to public and private firms in the UK. We find that the certification effect of ratings is largest for private firms and that syndicates are smallest if firms are privately held or unrated. Moreover, we find that the marginal effect of being stock exchange listed is insignificant once these firms are rated. Exploiting the heterogeneity among lenders, we find that especially foreign bank and non-bank investors do not provide capital if firms are unrated. Our paper highlights the information produced by rating agencies as an important mechanism by which ratings improve access to capital. Our results also emphasize the importance of syndicate moral hazard on the supply of uninformed capital: bank-borrower relationships significantly increase the loan share syndicated to investors particularly if firms are not listed and unrated.
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