The samurai bond market
Issuance in the samurai bond market has more than tripled over the past several years. Some observers have attributed this growth to a systematic underestimation of credit risk in the market. A detailed review of credit quality, ratings differences, and initial issue pricing in the samurai bond market, however, turns up little evidence to support this concern.
Credit risk in Japan's corporate bond market
From the fall of 1997 to the spring of 1999, yield spreads in Japan's corporate bond market increased sharply. An analysis of this rapid rise suggests that Japanese investors in corporate bonds may be paying closer attention to the credit risk of individual issuers. Such a shift in investor focus would represent a major change in the structure of this market.
Split ratings and the pricing of credit risk
Despite the fact that over 50 percent of all corporate bonds have different ratings from Moody's and Standard and Poor's at issuance, most bond pricing models ignore these differences of opinion. Our work compares a number of different methods of accounting for split ratings in estimating bond pricing models. We find that pricing rules that use only the Moody's or Standard and Poor's ratings produce unbiased but highly inefficient forecasts. If models rely instead on simply the higher or lower of the two ratings (but not both), greater bias is introduced with insignificant gains in ...
The credit rating industry
Investors and regulators have been increasing their reliance on the opinions of the credit rating agencies. This article shows that although the ratings provide accurate rank-orderings of default risk, the meaning of specific letter grades varies over time and across agencies. Noting that current regulations do not explicitly adjust for agency differences, the authors argue that a reassessment of the use of ratings and the adequacy of public oversight is overdue.
China's IPO activity and equity market volatility
China has recently considered reforming its regulation of initial public offerings in equity markets. Current policy allows more IPOs in rising markets but restricts new issues in falling markets, possibly to avoid pushing down values of existing stocks. However, recent research finds China?s IPO activity has no effect on stock price changes, perhaps because of the low volume relative to the overall market. As such, cyclical restrictions on IPOs do not appear to have stabilized Chinese markets, so policy reforms may improve market efficiency without increasing volatility.
Determinants and impact of sovereign credit ratings
The authors conduct the first systematic analysis of the determinants and impact of the sovereign credit ratings assigned by the two leading U.S. agencies, Moody's Investor Services and Standard and Poor's. Of the large number of criteria used by the two agencies, six factors appear to play an important role in determining a country's credit rating: per capita income, GDP growth, inflation, external debt, level of economic development, and default history. In addition, the authors find that sovereign ratings influence market yields--particularly those on non-investment-grade ...
Sovereign credit ratings
Sovereign ratings are gaining importance as more governments with greater default risk borrow in international bond markets. But while the ratings have proved useful to governments seeking market access, the difficulty of assessing sovereign risk has led to agency disagreements and public controversy over specific rating assignments. Recognizing this difficulty, the financial markets have shown some skepticism toward sovereign ratings when pricing issues.
Multiple ratings and credit standards: differences of opinion in the credit rating industry
Rating-dependent financial regulators assume that the same letter ratings from different agencies imply the same levels of default risk. Most "third" agencies, however, assign significantly higher ratings on average than Moody's and Standard & Poor's. We show that, contrary to the claims of some rating industry professionals, sample selection bias can account for at most half of the observed average difference in ratings. We also investigate the economic rationale for using multiple rating agencies. Among the many variables considered, only size and bond-issuance history are consistently ...
Institutional affiliation and the role of venture capital: evidence from initial public offerings in Japan
The presence of venture capital in the ownership structure of U.S. firms going public has been associated with both improved long-term performance and lower underpricing at the time of the IPOs. In Japan, we find the long-run performance of venture capital-backed IPOs to be no better than that of other IPOs, with the exception of firms backed by foreign owned or independent venture capitalists. Many of the major venture capital firms in Japan are subsidiaries of securities firms that may face a conflict of interest when underwriting the venture capital-backed issue. When venture capital ...