Home > Business Databases > Corporate Credit Ratings Data

Corporate Credit Ratings Data

Corporate credit ratingCorporate credit ratings data is one of the criteria used in assessing a firm’s ability to service its financial obligations. They can address a specific company’s financial instrument i.e. debt security such as a bond or assess a company’s overall creditworthiness. Through corporate credit ratings, one can determine how a firm is performing and its financial situation.  Well, that is the theory anyway…

Currently, three major rating agencies Moody’s, Standard &Poor’s and Fitch Ratings control approximately 95% of the credit ratings business. While Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s have approximately 40% each, Fitch has around 15%.

The three are commonly known as the “Big Three credit rating agencies”

Types of rating data

Issue vs. issuer ratings

Credit ratings agencies’ ratings can be assigned to a specific issue of debt by a company such as a loan, a bond etc. There are also ratings that are called issuer ratings. These ratings are assigned to the corporate who issues debt securities.

Long term vs.  short term issuer ratings

Long term ratings are opinions of the rating agencies of a company’s capacity and willingness to meet its financial commitments as its debt becomes due in 12 months or beyond

Short term ratings asses the repayment capabilities of a company for its issued debts matured within 12 months.

Local Currency  vs.  Foreign Currency Ratings

When assigning issuer credit ratings, rating agencies make a distinction between foreign currency ratings and local currency ratings. An issuer’s foreign currency rating will differ from its local currency rating when the company has a different capacity to meet its obligations denominated in its local currency, vs. obligations denominated in a foreign currency.

For details of rating scales, please  check out Corporate credite ratings on Wikipedia.

The University of Manchester Library subscribes to a few databases which provide corporate credit ratings data:

Databases which provide credit rating data

Database Data coverage Access Note
Bankscope Current and historical Fitch ratings for banks Via web, WRDS Database licence does not permit download of data
Bloomberg Current and historical ratings data Via Bloomberg terminal only Only one company at a time
Compustat S & P ratings only Via WRDS
Datastream Current and historical 10 occurrences Via Datastream terminal only Using static datatype only
Mergent FISD US current and historical bond ratings data Via WRDS Ratings are also available for bond issuers
ThomsonONE.com Current and historical ratings data Via web (Internet Explorer) – one company at a time Using Thomson Reuters Spreadsheet Link Excel add-in for historical data

Please also read our blog post on `Obtaining historical credit ratings data’.

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