Understanding Changes in Corporate Credit Spreads
Posted: 18 Apr 2007
New evidence is reported on the empirical success of structural models in explaining changes in corporate credit risk. A parsimonious set of common factors and company-level fundamentals, inspired by structural models, was found to explain more than 54 percent (67 percent) of the variation in credit-spread changes for medium-grade (low-grade) bonds. No dominant latent factor was present in the unexplained variation. Although this set of factors had lower explanatory power among high-grade bonds, it did capture most of the systematic variation in credit-spread changes in that category. It also subsumed the explanatory power of the Fama and French factors among all grade classes.
Keywords: Debt Investments, Credit Analysis, Portfolio Management, Debt Strategies
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