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Credit Rating Impact on Information Environment: A study on the informational impact of credit ratings in financial markets using equity analysts’ performance as proxy
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Management Accounting and Logistics.
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Management Accounting and Logistics.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Title: Credit Rating Impact on Information Environment – A study on the informational impact of credit ratings in financial markets using equity analysts’ performance as proxy.

Introduction: The credit rating agencies provide risk assessment for a massive amount of financial assets around the world. These risk assessments are in turn used by numerous different market participants. The general idea behind this industry is that the credit ratings provide additional information or alternatively increase the quality of information in financial markets. Recent studies (most of which is written after the financial crisis of 2008) argue that there are several issues in the rating processes leading to failure to provide accurate ratings. Other studies still claim that credit rating agencies still provide useful information or alternatively increase the quality of information by sorting and ranking public knowledge of assets. We see the need for an investigating study examining the informational benefits of credit rating in the information environment of markets.

Research Approach: How does the issuing of credit ratings impact the information environment in financial markets?

Purpose: The study aim to contribute to the understanding of the current and historical effects that credit ratings have, and have had, on the information quality of markets and hence the efficiency of markets.

Method: Our study takes a deductive research approach where the methodology is one of a quantitative and explanatory character. To analyze the effects on market information we use the BKLS model (Barron, Kim, Lim & Stevens, 1998), which uses equity analysts’ performance as proxy for the information environment. These data are then used in a long-term time-series study looking for long-term changes in analysts’ performance with yearly observations. Furthermore we test the instant market effects on stock prices from the issuing of a credit rating in a secondary short-term time-series study with daily observations.

Conclusions: We find that the issuing of a credit rating in fact decreases the amount/quality of information available in financial markets (both public and private information). We contribute these effects to conflicts of interest in the rating processes and agency problems in the relationship between issuer and credit rating agency. Several practical examples of this are found such as ratings shopping, solicitation of ratings issuing, agencies offering consultant services and the lack of regulatory measures taken by regulators such as ESMA and SEC. We propose several ways of developing the research in this field; most importantly we want to see future studies on the differences between solicited/unsolicited issuing of ratings. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 89 p.
Keyword [en]
Credit rating, credit rating agency, efficient market, EMH, CRA, BKLS, Credit rating analyst, financial crisis, rating shopping
Keyword [sv]
Kreditbetyg, Kreditinstitut, Effektiva marknader, Marknadseffektivitet, EMH, CRA, BKLS, Analytiker, Kredit analyitker, finanskris
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-55148OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-55148DiVA: diva2:951413
Subject / course
Business Administration - Other
Educational program
Business Administration and Economics Programme, 240 credits
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2016-08-09 Created: 2016-08-08 Last updated: 2016-08-09Bibliographically approved

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