- Potential Bond Downgrades Remain Near All-Time High, Article
- Says
     NEW YORK July 21, 2008--The potential downgrade count for this month
stands at 745, according to an article published Friday, July 18, 2008 by
Standard & Poor's. The article, which is titled "Downgrade Potential Across
Credit Grades And Sectors (Premium)," says this is first time in the last
14 months that the number has decreased. However, the dip is largely
because a number of potential downgrades became actual downgrades, not
because of an improvement in those companies' creditworthiness. This
month's count is four fewer than last month's all-time high.
     The number of potential downgrades is 124 more than in the same period
a year ago, when a material erosion of the residential real estate sector
and large write-downs by financial institutions sparked an upsurge of
downgrade potential. Geographically, the U.S. continues to top the list of
potential bond downgrades, where roughly a quarter of current ratings are
at risk of downgrades.
     "By sector, mortgage institutions recorded the highest ratio of
issuers with a negative bias relative to their total rated universe,
followed by brokerage companies and forest products and building
materials," said Diane Vazza, head of Standard & Poor's Global Fixed Income
Research Group. "This is unsurprising given the weakness in the lending and
housing markets." Further, consumer discretionary sectors--including the
media and entertainment and consumer products sectors--are poised for
deterioration because of a lessening of credit availability and weakening
     RatingsDirect is the real-time Web-based source for Standard & Poor's
credit ratings, research, and risk analysis, at The
standard version of this article is part of our standard Global Fixed
Income Research content. The premium version contains expanded analysis of
the article's most significant points, typically broken out by sector and
region. Also in the premium version are in-depth charts and tables, the
underlying data of which are available for download. Ratings information
can also be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site at; under Credit Ratings in the left navigation bar,
select Find a Rating, then Credit Ratings Search. Members of the media may
request a copy of this report by contacting the media representative
Analyst Contact:
Diane Vazza, New York (1) 212-438-2760
     Standard & Poor's, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:MHP),
is the world's foremost provider of financial market intelligence,
including independent credit ratings, indices, risk evaluation, investment
research and data. With approximately 8,500 employees, including wholly
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independent benchmarks they need to feel more confident about their
investment and financial decisions. For more information, visit
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