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The sovereign-bank rating channel and rating agencies' downgrades during the European debt crisis

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  • Alsakka, Rasha
  • ap Gwilym, Owain
  • Vu, Tuyet Nhung

Abstract

We investigate the rating channel for the transmission of changes in sovereign risk to the banking sector, analysing data from Moody's, S&P and Fitch before and during the European debt crisis. Sovereign rating downgrades and negative watch signals have strong effects on bank rating downgrades in the crisis period. The impact is stronger for multiple-notch sovereign rating downgrades, and more pronounced in PIIGS countries. Secondly, we investigate rating agencies' competition in the banking sector during the same periods, finding significant differences in rating policies across the agencies. S&P credit actions tend to be the more independent ones, while Moody's appears to be more cautious, although it is by far the most likely to assign multiple-notch downgrades. In the pre-crisis period, we find no evidence that bank rating actions are linked to sovereign rating signals (nor vice versa) nor to prior bank rating changes by a competing agency.

Suggested Citation

  • Alsakka, Rasha & ap Gwilym, Owain & Vu, Tuyet Nhung, 2014. "The sovereign-bank rating channel and rating agencies' downgrades during the European debt crisis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(PB), pages 235-257.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:49:y:2014:i:pb:p:235-257
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jimonfin.2014.03.012
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    2. Themistokles Lazarides & Evaggelos Drimpetas, 2016. "Defining the factors of Fitch rankings in the European banking sector," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 6(2), pages 315-339, August.
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    4. Altdörfer, Marc & De las Salas Vega, Carlos A. & Guettler, Andre & Löffler, Gunter, 2019. "The case for a European rating agency: Evidence from the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1-18.
    5. GABAN Lucian & RUS IonuÈ› - Marius & FETITA Alin, 2017. "A Model Of Rating Of Eastern European Banks," Revista Economica, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Faculty of Economic Sciences, vol. 69(3), pages 42-56, August.
    6. Liu, Liuling & Zhang, Gaiyan & Fang, Yiwei, 2016. "Bank credit default swaps and deposit insurance around the world," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 339-363.
    7. Leo de Haan & Robert Vermeulen, 2018. "The impact of sovereign debt ratings on euro area cross-border holdings of euro area sovereign debt," DNB Working Papers 620, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    8. Chen, Zhongfei & Matousek, Roman & Stewart, Chris & Webb, Rob, 2019. "Do rating agencies exhibit herding behaviour? Evidence from sovereign ratings," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 57-70.
    9. Hasan, Iftekhar & Kim, Suk-Joong & Politsidis, Panagiotis & Wu, Eliza, 2020. "Syndicated bank lending and rating downgrades: Do sovereign ceiling policies really matter?," MPRA Paper 102941, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Sanket Mohapatra & Manabu Nose & Dilip Ratha, 2018. "Determinants of the distance between sovereign credit ratings and sub-sovereign bond ratings: Evidence from emerging markets and developing economies," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(9), pages 934-956, February.
    11. Abad, Pilar & Alsakka, Rasha & ap Gwilym, Owain, 2018. "The influence of rating levels and rating convergence on the spillover effects of sovereign credit actions," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 40-57.
    12. 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.
    13. Hasan, Iftekhar & Kim, Suk-Joong & Politsidis, Panagiotis & Wu, Eliza, 2020. "Loan syndication under Basel II: How firm credit ratings affect the cost of credit?," MPRA Paper 102796, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Drago, Danilo & Gallo, Raffaele, 2017. "The impact of sovereign rating changes on the activity of European banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 99-112.
    15. Stefano Caselli & Gino Gandolfi & Maria Gaia Soana, 2016. "The Impact of Sovereign Rating News on European Banks," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 22(1), pages 142-167, January.
    16. Hu, Haoshen & Prokop, Jörg & Shi, Yukun & Trautwein, Hans-Michael, 2020. "The rating spillover from banks to sovereigns: An empirical investigation across the European Union," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    17. Williams, Gwion & Alsakka, Rasha & ap Gwilym, Owain, 2015. "Does sovereign creditworthiness affect bank valuations in emerging markets?," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 113-129.
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    19. Luitel, Prabesh & Vanpée, Rosanne, 2018. "How do sovereign credit ratings help to financially develop low-developed countries?," ECMI Papers 13956, Centre for European Policy Studies.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit rating agencies; Sovereign rating; Bank rating; Rating policy; European sovereign debt crisis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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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