Quotation Halling, Michael, Yu, Jin, Zechner, Josef. 2020. How Did COVID-19 Affect Firms’ Access to Public Capital Markets? Review of Corporate Finance Studies. 9 (3), 501-533.




We find that bond issues increased substantially since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis in week 12 (March 16-20). This is the case for bonds rated A or higher, but also for bonds rated BBB or lower, although to a lesser extent. We find that the earliest issuers, issuing in weeks 12 and 13, have mostly ratings A or better, have substantial experience from previous bond issues, and are larger. Over the subsequent crisis weeks, the average issue rating deteriorates, issuers are less experienced and they are smaller. This may be partly due to Fed programs which were announced in week 13, and may have reduced market stress, thereby enabling a broader segment of firms to access the bond market. Compared to their previous issues, firms choose longer maturities during the crisis. Determinants of corporate bond spreads change substantially during COVID-19. Before, asset tangibility has a highly significant negative effect on spreads, but this is not the case in the crisis. Also, in contrast to normal periods, being a dividend payer has a significant spread-increasing effect during the crisis. Finally, experience from past bond issues significantly reduces credit spreads during the crisis, but not in normal periods. We also provide descriptive statistics for equity issuance activities during the COVID-19 crisis. Here a different picture emerges. Issuance activity slowed considerably during the crisis, both in terms of numbers and capital raised, and only recovered in the first two weeks of May.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Review of Corporate Finance Studies
WU-Journal-Rating new FIN-A, WH-B
Language English
Title How Did COVID-19 Affect Firms’ Access to Public Capital Markets?
Volume 9
Number 3
Year 2020
Page from 501
Page to 533
Reviewed? Y
URL https://academic.oup.com/rcfs/article/9/3/501/5865877
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/rcfs/cfaa008
Open Access N
JEL G01, G32


Zechner, Josef (Details)
Halling, Michael (Stockholm School of Economics & Swedish House of Finance, Sweden)
Yu, Jin (Monash University, Australia)
Institute for Finance, Banking and Insurance IN (Details)
Research Institute for Capital Markets FI (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5305 Bank management (Details)
5307 Business and management economics (Details)
5358 Corporate finances (Details)
5361 Financial management (Details)
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