Influence of Global versus Local Rating Agencies to Japanese Financial Firms

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Global rating agencies, such as Moody's and S&P, have assigned credit ratings to corporate bonds issued by Japanese firms since 1980s. Local Japanese rating agencies, such as R&I and JCR, have more market share than the global raters. We examine the yield spreads of 1,050 yen-denominated corporate bonds issued by financial firms in Japan from 1998 to 2014 and find no evidence that bonds rated by at least one global agency are associated with a significant reduction in the cost of debt as compared to those rated by only local rating agencies. Unlike non-financial firms, the reputation effect of global rating agencies does not exist for Japanese financial firms. We also observe that firms with less information asymmetry are more likely to acquire ratings from Moody's or S&P. Additionally, the firm's financial profile does not affect its choice to seek out ratings from global raters. Our findings are contradictory to those by Han, Pagano, and Shin (2012), who employ bonds issued by non-financial firms in Japan. Our conjecture is that the asymmetric nature of financial firms makes investors less likely to depend on a credit risk assessment by rating agencies in determining the yields of new bonds.
Publisher
KOREA DISTRIBUTION SCIENCE ASSOC
Issue Date
2018-11
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

JOURNAL OF ASIAN FINANCE ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS, v.5, no.4, pp.9 - 20

ISSN
2288-4637
DOI
10.13106/jafeb.2018.vol5.no4.9
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/248291
Appears in Collection
RIMS Journal Papers
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