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Institutional investors’ activism and credit ratings


  • Javeria Farooqi

    (Lindenwood University)

  • Surendranath Jory

    (University of Sussex)

  • Thanh Ngo

    (East Carolina University)


We study the link between institutional shareholdings and the quality of the credit ratings of the firms they hold in their investment portfolio. The study of the overall impact of institutional investor ownership yields mixed results while more consistent results are obtained when we take into account the heterogeneity of institutional investors. When we classify the institutional investors based on their degree of intervention and activism levels, we find that passive/inactive investors are associated with better-rated firms while active ones are associated with lower-rated firms. Thus, activist institutional investors believe that there is more value to be found at lowly rated firms. They are more likely to find cheap stocks among these firms that require both their financial and managerial inputs to progress. Passive investors, instead, tend to track market indices that consist of mostly highly rated firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Javeria Farooqi & Surendranath Jory & Thanh Ngo, 2017. "Institutional investors’ activism and credit ratings," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 41(1), pages 51-77, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jecfin:v:41:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s12197-015-9332-8
    DOI: 10.1007/s12197-015-9332-8

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    3. Kai Xu & Michael A. Hitt & Stewart R. Miller, 2020. "The ownership structure contingency in the sequential international entry mode decision process: Family owners and institutional investors in family-dominant versus family-influenced firms," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 51(2), pages 151-171, March.

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    More about this item


    Institutional investors; Credit ratings; Active investors;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance


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