Credit Rating Actions

Credit rating actions are a common feature of the work of credit rating agencies.

Before a rating is downgraded or confirmed, the respective issuer or issue is usually placed on a special list, which can have different names in the leading rating agencies: “Watchlist”, “Credit Watch” or “Rating Watch”, to name a few.

All agencies’ priority is always to get the rating appropriate as quickly as possible, even if a rating change is not signaled in advance because of unanticipated circumstances. Credit ratings express forward-looking opinions about the creditworthiness of issuers and obligations.

More specifically, credit ratings express a relative ranking of creditworthiness. The primary factor in the analysis of creditworthiness is likelihood of default, although payment priority, potential recovery following default, and credit stability are factors that can also play a role in the assessment of credit risk. Credit ratings incorporate an assessment of future events to the extent they can be anticipated. However, the potential for future performance to differ from initial expectations has to be recognized. Outlooks and watchlistings address this possibility by focusing on the scenarios that could result in a rating change.

RATING©WATCH is a brand name and trademark of RATING EVIDENCE GmbH, not to be confused with the “Rating Watch” from Fitch Ratings or similar offers from other credit rating agencies. There are no reproductions of watch lists from these agencies on this website. If you are looking for watch listings from these or other agencies, please visit the agencies’ websites.

Published by:

Dr. Oliver Everling

Independent since 1998, he is Managing Director of RATING EVIDENCE GmbH. As visiting professor of Capital University of Economics and Business in Beijing, former chairman of the supervisory board of a rating agency, advisory board member, advisor, member of rating committees, chairman of ISO-TC Rating Services, author or publisher of books and a magazine, Independent Non-Executive Director under EU Regulation on Credit Rating Agencies, he has been or is involved in ratings from a variety of perspectives. Previously, he was for 6 years department director at Dresdner Bank and, until 1993, managing director of the Projektgesellschaft Rating mbH after a doctorate at the banking and stock exchange seminar of the University of Cologne.

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