IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Pilar Abad Romero & María Dolores Robles Fernández, 2012. "Credit rating agencies and unsystematic risk: Is there a linkage?," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 2012-17, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucm:doicae:1217

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    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, February.
    3. 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.
    4. 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, February.
    5. Arnoud W. A. Boot & Todd T. Milbourn & Anjolein Schmeits, 2006. "Credit Ratings as Coordination Mechanisms," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(1), pages 81-118.
    6. 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.
    7. Amit Goyal & Pedro Santa-Clara, 2003. "Idiosyncratic Risk Matters!," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 975-1008, June.
    8. Pilar Abad-Romero & M. Robles-Fernández, 2007. "Bond rating changes and stock returns: evidence from the Spanish stock market," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 79-103, June.
    9. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Pilar Abad Romero & Maria Dolores Robles Fernández, 2014. "The Risk-Return binomial after rating changes," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 2014-23, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.

    More about this item


    Credit rating agencies; Rating changes; Market model; GARCH; Stock Returns; Systematic risk; Unsystematic The information provided by Fitch and Moody’s is appreciated. Any errors are solely the responsibility of the authors. This work has been funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (ECO2009-10398/ECON and ECO2011-23959); Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha (PCI08-0089) and Banco de Santander (UCM940063).;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • 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
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucm:doicae:1217. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Águeda González Abad). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.