Bond Ratings, Corporate Governance, and Cost of Debt: The Case of Korea

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This study examines whether Korean rating agencies such as Korea Investors Service (KIS), National Information & Credit Evaluation (NICE), and Korea Ratings Corporation (KR), incorporate corporate governance into their corporate bond ratings in Korea. We find that the Korean rating agencies assign higher ratings to the bonds issued by Chaebol (Korean business group) affiliated firms. Our results also indicate that those rating agencies give higher ratings to the bonds with greater foreign investor share ownership. Moreover, if the rating agencies value corporate governance, higher rated firms should issue bonds at lower yield to maturity. We discover that Chaebol affiliation is counted favorably by the rating agencies. We find that investors are willing to pay lower risk premium for bonds with higher institutional ownership, but higher risk premium to bonds with greater equity ownership in the form of depository receipts. Therefore, even if the rating agencies and investors in Korea consider corporate governance (Chaebol affiliation and ownership structure) an important determinant in bond ratings and the yields to maturity, they have opposite views on institutional ownership and share ownership in the form of depository receipts.
Publisher
KOREA DISTRIBUTION SCIENCE ASSOC
Issue Date
2016-07
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

JOURNAL OF ASIAN FINANCE ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS, v.3, no.3, pp.5 - 15

ISSN
2288-4637
DOI
10.13106/jafeb.2016.vol3.no3.5.
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/219678
Appears in Collection
RIMS Journal Papers
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