The National Market Impact of Sovereign Rating Changes
University of Strathclyde, Department of Accounting & Finance Working Paper
30 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2002
Date Written: November 2001
This study investigates the aggregate stock market impact of local currency and foreign currency sovereign rating changes. Consistent with evidence pertaining to company credit rating changes, we report that only rating downgrades have a wealth impact on market returns. Decreases in local currency ratings appear to impart no information to the market whereas foreign currency rating downgrades are associated with significant wealth effects. Interestingly, of the four credit rating agencies examined, only Standard & Poors and Fitch rating downgrades result in significant market falls. These results are robust to differences in the currency denomination or interval of returns. Finally, we can find no evidence that emerging markets are particularly sensitive to rating changes or that markets react more severely to multiple rating changes. These findings should be of great interest to all investor groups (including managed investment funds) since there are important implications here regarding international asset allocation.
Keywords: Sovereign Rating Changes, Event Study, Country Beta Risk
JEL Classification: G15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation