Information Opacity and Fitch Bond Ratings
29 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2017 Last revised: 11 Feb 2017
Date Written: February 6, 2017
We examine the marginal impact of Fitch ratings on the at-issuance yields of industrial and utility bonds rated by Moody’s and S&P. We find that Fitch ratings reduce the yield premiums on information opaque bonds by about 30% or 15 basis points. The finding is robust even when a Fitch rating exactly equals the two major ratings or their average. The findings suggest that Fitch ratings are not redundant but bring additional information to investors. Increased competition in the rating industry enhances the information efficiency of the bond market and the existence of smaller rating agencies is economically justified.
Keywords: Bonds, Fitch Bond Ratings, Three Ratings
JEL Classification: G12, G24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation