Informational Effects of Regulation Fd: Evidence from Rating Agencies
36 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2004 Last revised: 29 Mar 2015
Date Written: May 1, 2004
This paper studies changes in the information environment brought about by Regulation Fair Disclosure (FD), which was implemented on October 23, 2000. FD now prohibits U.S. public companies from making selective, non-public disclosures to favored investment professionals. FD, however, has a number of exclusions, one of which still allows disclosure of non-public information to credit rating agencies. As a result, credit analysts at rating agencies now have access to confidential information that is not made available to equity analysts any more. This can potentially increase the value of credit ratings to equity investors. We examine a sample of credit rating changes and their effect on the company's stock price. We find that the informational effect of downgrades and upgrades is much bigger in the post-FD period. Apparently, FD conferred a strategic advantage to the ratings agencies.
Keywords: Regulation Fair Disclosure, Regulation FD, credit rating agencies, market reaction, event study
JEL Classification: G18, G14, G28, G29, K22, M41
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