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Unsolicited Versus Solicited: Credit Ratings and Bond Yields

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  • Seung Han
  • William Moore
  • Yoon Shin

    ()

  • Seongbaek Yi

Abstract

This paper is the first attempt to analyze Standard & Poor’s unsolicited and solicited ratings by using bond-yield data in Japan. Our findings show that there are differences in firm characteristics between firms seeking solicited ratings and those that receive unsolicited ratings. Firms with solicited ratings have less information asymmetry and are more likely to be owned by foreign investors, generate more revenue from exports, be cross-listed in the US, and have higher firm quality. But, firms with unsolicited ratings pay higher costs for debt, and their bond prices react more strongly to credit-rating changes. Yield spreads for new bonds with unsolicited ratings are higher than those with solicited ratings, because unsolicited ratings have higher information asymmetry, and investors therefore demand higher yields. We find that bond-price reactions to the announcements of unsolicited rating downgrades (upgrades) are negative (positive) and significant, while bond prices do not react significantly to solicited rating downgrades or upgrades. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Seung Han & William Moore & Yoon Shin & Seongbaek Yi, 2013. "Unsolicited Versus Solicited: Credit Ratings and Bond Yields," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 293-319, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jfsres:v:43:y:2013:i:3:p:293-319
    DOI: 10.1007/s10693-012-0137-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Winnie P. H. Poon & Michael Firth, 2005. "Are Unsolicited Credit Ratings Lower? International Evidence From Bank Ratings," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(9-10), pages 1741-1771.
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    6. Winnie P. H. Poon & Junsoo Lee & Benton E. Gup, 2009. "Do Solicitations Matter in Bank Credit Ratings? Results from a Study of 72 Countries," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2-3), pages 285-314, March.
    7. Frank, Murray Z. & Goyal, Vidhan K., 2003. "Testing the pecking order theory of capital structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 217-248, February.
    8. Ronald W. Best & Charles W. Hodges & Bing-Xuan Lin, 2004. "Does Information Asymmetry Explain The Diversification Discount?," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 27(2), pages 235-249.
    9. Tang, Tony T., 2009. "Information asymmetry and firms' credit market access: Evidence from Moody's credit rating format refinement," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 325-351, August.
    10. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
    11. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    12. Li, Joanne & Shin, Yoon S. & Moore, William T., 2006. "Reactions of Japanese markets to changes in credit ratings by global and local agencies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 1007-1021, March.
    13. Bappaditya Mukhopadhyay, 2006. "Existence of Unsolicited Ratings," Asia-Pacific Financial Markets, Springer;Japanese Association of Financial Economics and Engineering, vol. 13(3), pages 207-233, September.
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    15. Seung Han & Yoon Shin & Walter Reinhart & William Moore, 2009. "Market Segmentation Effects in Corporate Credit Rating Changes: The Case of Emerging Markets," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 35(2), pages 141-166, April.
    16. Giuliano Iannotta, 2006. "Testing for Opaqueness in the European Banking Industry: Evidence from Bond Credit Ratings," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 30(3), pages 287-309, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yu-Li Huang & Chung-Hua Shen, 2015. "The Sovereign Effect on Bank Credit Ratings," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 341-379, June.
    2. Byoun, Soku & Fulkerson, Jon A. & Han, Seung Hun & Shin, Yoon S., 2014. "Are unsolicited ratings biased? Evidence from long-run stock performance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 326-338.
    3. Mohamed Abulgasem A. Elhaj & Nurul Aini Muhamed & Nathasa Mazna Ramli & Nor Balkish Zakaria, 2016. "Ownership Monitoring Mechanism over Sukuk Credit Rating," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 6(12), pages 700-720, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit ratings; Unsolicited ratings; Yield Spreads; G14; G15; G24;

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • 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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