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Credit rating agencies and unsystematic risk: Is there a linkage?

This study analyzes the effects of six different credit rating announcements on systematic and unsystematic risk in Spanish companies listed on the Electronic Continuous Stock Market from 1988 to 2010. We use an extension of the event study dummy approach that includes direct effects on beta risk and on volatility. We find effects in both kinds of risk, indicating that rating agencies provide information to the market. Rating actions that imply an improvement in credit quality cause lower systematic and unsystematic risk. Conversely, ratings announcements that imply credit quality deterioration cause a rebalance in both types of risk, with higher beta risk being joined with lower diversifiable risk. Although the event characteristics were not important to determine how the two types of risk reacted to rating actions, the 2007 economic and financial crises increase the market’s sensitivity to these characteristics.

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Paper provided by Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico in its series Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE with number 2012-17.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucm:doicae:1217
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  1. Jorion, Philippe & Liu, Zhu & Shi, Charles, 2005. "Informational effects of regulation FD: evidence from rating agencies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 309-330, May.
  2. John Y. Campbell, 2001. "Have Individual Stocks Become More Volatile? An Empirical Exploration of Idiosyncratic Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 1-43, 02.
  3. Pilar Abad-Romero & M. Robles-Fernández, 2007. "Bond rating changes and stock returns: evidence from the Spanish stock market," Spanish Economic Review, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 79-103, June.
  4. Angelidis, Timotheos & Tessaromatis, Nikolaos, 2009. "Idiosyncratic risk matters! A regime switching approach," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 132-141, January.
  5. Pilar Abad-Romero & M. Dolores Robles-Fernandez, 2006. "Risk and Return Around Bond Rating Changes: New Evidence From the Spanish Stock Market," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(5-6), pages 885-908.
  6. Amit Goyal & Pedro Santa-Clara, 2003. "Idiosyncratic Risk Matters!," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 975-1008, 06.
  7. May, Anthony D., 2010. "The impact of bond rating changes on corporate bond prices: New evidence from the over-the-counter market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 2822-2836, November.
  8. Boot, Arnoud W A & Milbourn, Todd, 2002. "Credit Ratings as Coordination Mechanism," CEPR Discussion Papers 3331, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Ilia D. Dichev, 2001. "The Long-Run Stock Returns Following Bond Ratings Changes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 173-203, 02.
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