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Measuring the effect of watch-preceded and direct rating changes: a note on credit markets

Kiesel, F. and Kolaric, S. (2018):
Measuring the effect of watch-preceded and direct rating changes: a note on credit markets.
In: Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, pp. 653-672, 50, (2), ISSN 1573-7179, [Online-Edition: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11156-017-0641-1],
[Article]

Abstract

This paper analyzes the importance of distinguishing between watch-preceded and direct rating changes for the credit default swap (CDS) market by examining a total of 2991 rating change announcements, 1526 watchlist placement announcements, and 430 rating affirmations following watchlist placements. The results show that watch-preceded downgrades do not lead to significant CDS market reactions, while direct downgrades are associated with a significant increase in CDS spread levels. Likewise, we document that watchlist placements for downgrade lead to increases in firms’ CDS spreads. CDS markets do not react to rating upgrades but watchlist placements for upgrade result in an immediate decrease in CDS spreads. Rating affirmations following watchlist placements for downgrade lead to slight reductions in CDS spreads, while affirmations following watchlist placements for upgrade have no effect on CDS spreads. These findings demonstrate the importance for empirical research on the interaction between credit markets and rating announcements to differentiate between watch-preceded and direct rating changes, particularly for rating downgrades.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2018
Creators: Kiesel, F. and Kolaric, S.
Title: Measuring the effect of watch-preceded and direct rating changes: a note on credit markets
Language: English
Abstract:

This paper analyzes the importance of distinguishing between watch-preceded and direct rating changes for the credit default swap (CDS) market by examining a total of 2991 rating change announcements, 1526 watchlist placement announcements, and 430 rating affirmations following watchlist placements. The results show that watch-preceded downgrades do not lead to significant CDS market reactions, while direct downgrades are associated with a significant increase in CDS spread levels. Likewise, we document that watchlist placements for downgrade lead to increases in firms’ CDS spreads. CDS markets do not react to rating upgrades but watchlist placements for upgrade result in an immediate decrease in CDS spreads. Rating affirmations following watchlist placements for downgrade lead to slight reductions in CDS spreads, while affirmations following watchlist placements for upgrade have no effect on CDS spreads. These findings demonstrate the importance for empirical research on the interaction between credit markets and rating announcements to differentiate between watch-preceded and direct rating changes, particularly for rating downgrades.

Journal or Publication Title: Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting
Volume: 50
Number: 2
Publisher: Springer
Uncontrolled Keywords: Credit default swaps (CDS), Credit rating, Credit watchlist, Credit quality, Event study
Divisions: 01 Department of Law and Economics > Betriebswirtschaftliche Fachgebiete
01 Department of Law and Economics > Betriebswirtschaftliche Fachgebiete > Corporate finance
01 Department of Law and Economics
Date Deposited: 19 May 2017 21:16
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11156-017-0641-1
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