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The nice list of free online data sources What data sources are available online? does not mention any data from ratings agencies.

Are historical time series available for sovereign credit ratings (other than as proprietary datasets)?

I realise that the ratings agencies probably would claim their ratings of sovereign debt as proprietary data, yet due to the way this information is disseminated and used it appears to be in the public interest for it to be available freely, and it also appears possible to recover some parts of the time series from the public domain. However, I cannot locate any free sources.

The Guardian made available a snapshot in July 2010, but I would like to analyse how the ratings have changed over time. I would be happy with a subset where nontrivial changes have taken place: for instance, a series for just Greece and Japan would be of interest. I can of course deduce some of the few unchanging series myself.

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With the adoption of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, being in effect since June 15, 2015, any nationally recognized statistical rating organization (NRSRO) is obliged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to disclose any credit rating action from June 15, 2012 onwards (current rating actions can have a delay of 12-24 months before being disclosed though). Details are laid down in Rule 17g-7(b) which can be found here.

The datasets for the 'Big Three' can be found here (for S&P and Moody's an account is required):

Of course the rule also applies to all other NRSROs (DBRS, Morningstar, etc.), so searching their websites for this rule should direct one to the data.

The data are in a rather unusual format (XBRL), at least if one works with standard programs like Python or R. Fortunately, there is a GitHub repo by the Center for Municipal Finance which automatically scrapes the data and exports them into a .csv-file.

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Fitch should be available right here: Sovereign Ratings History

With Moody's it's not so easy, I don't know if there's a complete source available free of charge. But Sovereign Default and Recovery Rates, 1983-2007 has some data in the appendix III, though not so up to date and in a not that convenient format.

Same goes about S&P, Sovereign Ratings History Since 1975.

UPDATE: That link no longer works. Start page for all S&P ratings is here: http://www.standardandpoors.com/ratings/en/ap/ You can see latest ratings only. Clicking a country name requires a (free) login, but still only shows the latest data (though it does then have links to methodology, background articles, etc.)

Maybe someone will be able to come up with more edible formats though.

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S&P credit rating change information until 2012 (European Union only):

http://www.standardandpoors.com/ratings/articles/en/us/?articleType=HTML&assetID=1245327302187

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  • $\begingroup$ The link is broken. $\endgroup$ – sp59b2 Oct 4 at 13:56
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This is the best historical time series which I could find from tradingeconomics.com/malaysia/rating.

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  • $\begingroup$ Please create a new question when you want to ask a question and please read the faq on what and how to ask. $\endgroup$ – Bob Jansen Nov 9 '16 at 17:31
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Unfortunately with the S&P ratings it is unclear when the latest changes were made: http://www.standardandpoors.com/ratings/sovereigns/ratings-list/en/us/?subSectorCode=39&sectorId=1221186707758&subSectorId=1221187348494

If anyone is able to find any historic S&P country credit ratings please post them

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