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Subnational credit ratings : a comparative review

Author

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  • Liu, Lili
  • Tan, Kim Song

Abstract

This paper surveys methodological issues in subnational credit ratings and highlights key challenges for developing countries. Subnational borrowing from capital markets has been on the rise owing to fiscal decentralization and demand for infrastructure investments. A prerequisite for accessing capital markets, subnational credit ratings have also emerged as a part of broader reform for fiscal sustainability. They facilitate a more transparent budgetary and financial management system. The global financial crisis makes subnational credit ratings more relevant, as they contribute to fiscal risk evaluations and fiscal adjustment. In addition to subnationals’ own credit strength, the creditworthiness of the sovereign and the intergovernmental fiscal system are among the most critical rating criteria. Implicit and contingent liabilities are integral to the rating process. Indirect debt instruments including off-balance-sheet financing create fiscal risks. The ongoing financial crisis has reinforced the rating focus on the management of liquidity, debt structure, and off-balance-sheet liabilities.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Lili & Tan, Kim Song, 2009. "Subnational credit ratings : a comparative review," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5013, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5013
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Default, Currency Crises, and Sovereign Credit Ratings," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(2), pages 151-170, August.
    2. Ianchovichina, Elena & Liu, Lili & Nagarajan, Mohan, 2006. "Subnational fiscal sustainability analysis : what can we learn from Tamil Nadu ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3947, The World Bank.
    3. Sy, Amadou N. R., 2002. "Emerging market bond spreads and sovereign credit ratings: reconciling market views with economic fundamentals," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 380-408, December.
    4. Ashok Vir Bhatia, 2002. "Sovereign Credit Ratings Methodology; An Evaluation," IMF Working Papers 02/170, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Canuto, Otaviano & Liu, Lili, 2010. "Subnational Debt Finance and the Global Financial Crisis," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 13, pages 1-7, May.
    2. Luitel, Prabesh & Vanpée, Rosanne & De Moor, Lieven, 2016. "Pernicious effects: How the credit rating agencies disadvantage emerging markets," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 286-298.
    3. Al-Sakka, Rasha & ap Gwilym, Owain, 2010. "Split sovereign ratings and rating migrations in emerging economies," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 79-97, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Debt Markets; Banks&Banking Reform; Bankruptcy and Resolution of Financial Distress; Access to Finance;

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