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The Extent and Causes of Sovereign Split Ratings

Rasha Alsakka and Owain ap Gwilym

No 10008, Working Papers from Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales)

Abstract: This unique study employs a rich dataset of ratings from six international agencies to investigate the causes of sovereign split ratings in emerging countries. Three reasons are identified in explaining the relatively high frequency of disagreement across agencies on emerging sovereign ratings. Firstly, rating agencies use different economic factors and different weights on these factors. Secondly, rating agencies disagree to a greater extent about more opaque issuers. Finally, for smaller agencies, issuers in their “home region” tend to be more favoured. The findings should be of interest to a wide range of participants in global credit markets.

Date: 2010
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