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Rating agencies’ signals during the European sovereign debt crisis: Market impact and spillovers

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  • Alsakka, Rasha
  • ap Gwilym, Owain

Abstract

The ongoing financial crisis has drawn considerable attention to the role of credit rating agencies in the financial system. We examine how the foreign exchange market reacts to sovereign credit events prior to (2000–2006) and during the crisis (2006–2010). The sample includes a broad set of countries in Europe and Central Asia in order to investigate spillover effects. We find that rating agencies’ signals do affect the own-country exchange rate and we identify strong spillover effects to other countries’ exchange rates in the region. In both cases, the impact of outlook and watch signals is stronger than the impact of actual rating changes. Market reactions and spillovers are far stronger during the financial crisis period than pre-crisis. Negative news from all three major agencies has an impact, whereas only Moody's positive news produces a reaction. Negative news from Fitch tends to have the strongest effect. The findings are important in enhancing understanding of the role of rating agencies and the market response to their signals.

Suggested Citation

  • Alsakka, Rasha & ap Gwilym, Owain, 2013. "Rating agencies’ signals during the European sovereign debt crisis: Market impact and spillovers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 144-162.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:85:y:2013:i:c:p:144-162 DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2011.12.007
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    Cited by:

    1. Baum, Christopher F. & Schäfer, Dorothea & Stephan, Andreas, 2016. "Credit rating agency downgrades and the Eurozone sovereign debt crises," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, pages 117-131.
    2. Ozturk, Huseyin & Namli, Ersin & Erdal, Halil Ibrahim, 2016. "Modelling sovereign credit ratings: The accuracy of models in a heterogeneous sample," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 469-478.
    3. Aggelos KOTIOS & George GALANOS & Spyros ROUKANAS, 2012. "The Rating Agencies In The International Political Economy," Scientific Bulletin - Economic Sciences, University of Pitesti, vol. 11(1), pages 3-15.
    4. Broto, Carmen & Molina, Luis, 2016. "Sovereign ratings and their asymmetric response to fundamentals," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 206-224.
    5. Joshua Aizenman & Mahir Binici & Michael Hutchison, 2013. "Credit ratings and the pricing of sovereign debt during the euro crisis," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 582-609, AUTUMN.
    6. Sensoy, Ahmet & Eraslan, Veysel & Erturk, Mutahhar, 2016. "Do sovereign rating announcements have an impact on regional stock market co-movements? The case of Central and Eastern Europe," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 552-567.
    7. Shaen Corbet, 2014. "The Contagion Effects of Sovereign Downgrades: Evidence from the European Financial Crisis," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 4(1), pages 83-92.
    8. Drago, Danilo & Gallo, Raffaele, 2016. "The impact and the spillover effect of a sovereign rating announcement on the euro area CDS market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 264-286.
    9. Gwion Williams & Rasha Alsakka & Owain ap Gwilym, 2013. "The Impact of Sovereign Credit Signals on Bank Share Prices during the European Sovereign Debt Crisis," Working Papers 13007, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
    10. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:62:y:2017:i:05:n:s021759081550099x is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Hasan, Iftekhar & Kim, Suk-Joong & Wu, Eliza, 2015. "The effects of ratings-contingent regulation on international bank lending behavior: Evidence from the Basel 2 Accord," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(S1), pages 53-68.
    12. Antonakakis, Nikolaos, 2012. "Dynamic Correlations of Sovereign Bond Yield Spreads in the Euro zone and the Role of Credit Rating Agencies' Downgrades," MPRA Paper 43013, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Erdem, Orhan & Varli, Yusuf, 2014. "Understanding the sovereign credit ratings of emerging markets," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 42-57.
    14. Christopher F. Baum & Margarita Karpava & Dorothea Schäfer & Andreas Stephan, 2013. "Credit Rating Agency Announcements and the Eurozone Sovereign Debt Crisis," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1333, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    15. repec:rjr:romjef:v::y:2017:i:1:p:38-59 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. 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.
    17. Tran, Vu & Alsakka, Rasha & ap Gwilym, Owain, 2014. "Sovereign rating actions and the implied volatility of stock index options," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 101-113.
    18. Ibrahim Fatnassi & Zied Ftiti & Habib Hasnaoui, 2014. "Stock Market Reactions to Sovereign Credit Rating Changes: Evidence from Four European Countries," Working Papers 2014-111, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
    19. 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.
    20. 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.
    21. 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).
    22. 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

    European sovereign debt crisis; Agencies’ signals; Spillover effect; Credit outlook/watch; Foreign exchange market;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage

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