Determinants of Credit Rating Actions: Evidence from International Maritime Companies

Elif Korkmaz, Ersin Firat Akgül, Seçil Sigalı


This study aims to analyze the relevant factors in determining credit rating agency (CRA) rating actions for international maritime companies. The public disclosures regarding the credit rating actions within annual reports and the credit rating agencies’ websites are analyzed by applying a content analysis for the period 2000-2017. The results of the content analysis indicate that the factor of “market conditions” has been disclosed as the main credit rating action determinant by the CRAs. This finding is in line with the argument that due to the high costs of obtaining the new and confidential information, CRAs tend to rely solely on the market risk in most rating actions, rather than company-specific risk. Moreover, we determine that, after the 2008 financial crisis, CRA disclosures on company specific factors decrease dramatically. Furthermore, opacity prevails in observations regarding company-specific factors as “financial profile” and “corporate business profile”.

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