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Does sovereign risk matter? New evidence from eurozone corporate bond ratings and zero-volatility spreads

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  • Klein, Christian
  • Stellner, Christoph

Abstract

In this paper, we empirically examine if sovereign risk matters for corporate bonds in developed economies. Using a unique panel data sample of 897 corporate bonds from eleven countries within the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), we investigate sovereign and corporate ratings as well as zero-volatility spreads (z-spreads). In the time period from March 2006 to June 2012, we find sovereign risk to be a significant driver of corporate risk. The effect is stronger for companies with domestic revenue structure, for companies that are (partly) owned by the government, and companies active in the utility and transportation sector. Interestingly, the impact of sovereign risk on corporate risk during the acute European sovereign debt crisis period decreases if ratings are examined, but increases if z-spreads are utilized. Rating agencies seem to take a more differentiated view on individual company risk during the sovereign debt crisis, while institutional investors might want to reduce their exposure to a country in financial distress as a whole, regardless of whether sovereign or corporate bonds are held.

Suggested Citation

  • Klein, Christian & Stellner, Christoph, 2014. "Does sovereign risk matter? New evidence from eurozone corporate bond ratings and zero-volatility spreads," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 64-74.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:revfin:v:23:y:2014:i:2:p:64-74 DOI: 10.1016/j.rfe.2013.08.006
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    Cited by:

    1. Lakdawala, Aeimit & Minetti, Raoul & Olivero, María Pía, 2017. "Interbank Markets and Credit Policies amid a Sovereign Debt Crisis," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2017-1, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University.
    2. Cristina Arellano & Andrew Atkeson & Mark Wright, 2016. "External and Public Debt Crises," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 191-244.
    3. Andreasen, Eugenia, 2015. "Sovereign default, enforcement and the private cost of capital," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 411-427.
    4. Kiesel, Florian, 2016. "The effect of credit and rating events on credit default swap and equity markets," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 81265, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
    5. Kiesel, F., 2016. "Do Investors Still Rely on Credit Rating Agencies? Evidence from the Financial Crisis," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 77927, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    European corporate bond markets; Sovereign risk; Sovereign ceiling; Rating; Z-spread;

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage

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