This paper examines the information content of debt raising and refinancing activities of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in normal and tight credit markets. Based on a sample of 340 debt announcements made by REITs in Japan (J-REITs) between 2002 and 2011, we observe that they are associated with a positive stock price reaction, averaging 1.05 % over a 4-day window. Stratifying the sample into debt raising and debt refinancing, we find strong evidence that the positive economic gains associated with debt announcements flowed from the pool of debt refinancing announcements. They registered a significant mean return of 1.20 % over the 4-day window, as opposed to 0.07 % for the pool of debt raising activities. Further investigation shows that the positive market reaction to debt refinancing is more pronounced during the credit crunch of 2007 to 2009. Although debt refinancing does not lead to any change in the firm’s capital structure, it still contains valuable information about the firm’s prospect, especially in tight credit markets.
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 19, 2014
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