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Moody’s credit ratings and the stock market performance of Portuguese rated firms

Never has the issue of sovereign credit ratings attracted such an interest by policy and opinion makers, bankers and journalists, or even the public opinion, as witnessed in the last couple of years. In spite of being accused of contributing to the instability of financial markets, credit rating agencies have undoubtedly a role in financial markets, affecting its performance and guiding investor’s decisions. This paper analyzes the impact of the announcement of changes in Moody’s ratings over the performance of a set of rated firms quoted in the Portuguese stock market. Following an event study methodology, we collect ratings and outlook announcements by that major credit agency over the period 2006-2011. We find a significant response of share prices to changes in ratings, with that response anticipating the announcement. We think that could be explained by previous sovereign rating changes or to the contagion effects of a bearish market. When analyzing the period after January 2010, we observe a stronger reaction to announcements, which is understandable given the greater influence and market sensitivity to rating agencies.

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Paper provided by Universidade Portucalense, Centro de Investigação em Gestão e Economia (CIGE) in its series Working Papers with number 22/2011.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 12 Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:cigewp:2011_022
Contact details of provider: Postal: Universidade Portucalense – Economics and Management Department (CIGE – Centro de Investigação em Gestão e Economia), Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida, 541-619, 4200 – 072 Porto, Portugal
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  1. Mora, Nada, 2006. "Sovereign credit ratings: Guilty beyond reasonable doubt?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 2041-2062, July.
  2. Afonso, António & Furceri, Davide & Gomes, Pedro, 2012. "Sovereign credit ratings and financial markets linkages: Application to European data," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 606-638.
  3. Bertrand Candelon & Amadou N. R. Sy & Rabah Arezki, 2011. "Sovereign Rating News and Financial Markets Spillovers: Evidence from the European Debt Crisis," IMF Working Papers 11/68, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Joo, Sang Lyong & Pruitt, Stephen W., 2006. "Corporate bond ratings changes and economic instability: Evidence from the Korean financial crisis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 12-20, January.
  5. Lawrence J. White, 2010. "Markets: The Credit Rating Agencies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 211-26, Spring.
  6. Reinhart, Carmen, 2002. "Sovereign Credit Ratings Before and After Financial Crises," MPRA Paper 7410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Brown, Stephen J. & Warner, Jerold B., 1980. "Measuring security price performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 205-258, September.
  8. Amar Gande & David Parsley, 2003. "News Spillovers in the Sovereign Debt Market," Working Papers 062003, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  9. Helmut Reisen & Julia von Maltzan, 1999. "Boom and Bust and Sovereign Ratings," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 148, OECD Publishing.
  10. Brooks, Robert & Faff, Robert W. & Hillier, David & Hillier, Joseph, 2004. "The national market impact of sovereign rating changes," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 233-250, January.
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