Abstract or Introduction
Credit rating agencies are defined by Dittrich (2007) as companies which provide an opinion about the credit worthiness of a particular company, security or obligation by rating them on the basis of several parameters which are traditionally not publicly known. They also rate bonds issued by governments and municipal bonds specifying their ability to service their debts. On the contrary, according to Partnoy (2017) they usually provide an alphabetical letter score, which symbolises the forward-looking opinion of the credit rating agency on the credit worthiness of the rated obligor on a specific date. Therefore, the credit rating agencies are able to reduce information asymmetry by providing useful information to participants in debt markets and potential investors, which makes the credit rating agencies highly important as claimed by Utzig (2010). This transparency of information would otherwise not be available.
On the other hand, Benmelech (2017) describes credit rating agencies as reputational intermediaries that bridge the information gap between issuers and investors by their ability to produce and accumulate credible information about debt issues. The score awarded by rating agencies enables the investor to decide whether or not to invest their money. The credit rating agency market is, as pointed out by Benmelech (2017), dominated by three big players as an oligopoly. Research by Partnoy (2017) and ESMA (2016) discovered that Moody's Investors Service Plc. and S&P Global Ratings Inc. (S&P) control the market with around 80 percent market share followed by Fitch Ratings Inc. which controls a further 15 percent.
- Quote paper
- Moritz Meyer (Author), 2018, Are Credit Rating Agencies useful?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/426431