New evidence on sovereign to corporate credit rating spill-overs

Paula Hill*, Emawtee Bissoondoyal-Bheenick, Robert Faff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


We explore what happens to domestic firm-level ratings around the time of a sovereign-rating action on a day-by-day and country-by-country basis. Our granular approach provides banks and investors with a fuller picture of their sovereign credit risk exposure and, as such, our analysis might feed into banks’ internal modelling of their credit risk exposure for the purpose of determining regulatory capital, introduced under Basel II. We also provide a novel analysis of any bias in spill-over and we show that, inter alia, the tendency for greater spill-over of negative sovereign-rating actions can largely be accounted for by firm- and sovereign-level factors. However, even after allowing for these factors, some countries suffer from negative bias. The implied higher correlation between sovereign and firm-level ratings in times when countries are in crisis versus when they are in recovery may contribute to quicker and/or deeper crises versus slower and/or longer recoveries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-225
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Review of Financial Analysis
Early online date19 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


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