The Effect of Sovereign Credit Rating Changes on Emerging Stock Markets
47 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2005
Date Written: March 12, 2005
This paper studies the effect of sovereign credit rating changes issued by Standard and Poor's and Moody's on the cross section of domestically traded stocks. We first establish, consistent with earlier literature that analyzed similar phenomena in the U.S. (e.g. Holthausen and Leftwich, 1986; Goh and Ederington, 1993), that local stock markets react only to news of sovereign credit rating downgrades. Cumulative abnormal returns of stock indices also show that investors react only to rating announcements made by Standard & Poor's. We then study the cross sectional variation of the abnormal returns of individual firms associated with sovereign credit rating changes. We find that larger firms experience larger stock price drops after a sovereign credit downgrade. Also, firms located in more developed emerging countries experience smaller stock price reductions following sovereign credit downgrades. Finally, we document that firms that had access to international capital markets experience larger abnormal returns than firms that do not have access to international financial markets.
Keywords: Sovereign credit ratings, emerging markets, international capital markets
JEL Classification: F02, F20, F30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation