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Announcement:

Moody's: Increasing Challenges for EMEA Corporate Speculative Grade Issuers From 2013

 The document has been translated in other languages

Global Credit Research - 12 Oct 2010

London, 12 October 2010 -- EMEA speculative-grade corporate issuers with maturities in 2013 and beyond face the greatest refinancing challenges, says Moody's Investors Service in a new Special Comment.

This is one of the conclusions from Moody's first comprehensive study of the maturity profiles and refinancing requirements of rated corporate speculative-grade issuers in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. The report is based on over USD500 billion equivalent of debt held by 224 rated companies, with a particular focus on USD316 billion of debt maturing between 2011 through 2014.

"This refinancing requirement through 2014 materially exceeds the historic funding capacity of the European high-yield bond market which, between 2000-2009 saw issuance of USD234 billion," says Chetan Modi, Team Leader for Moody's European high-yield and author of the report. Despite current record levels of European high-yield bond issuance, Moody's expects that the bank market will remain a major source of funding for speculative-grade European companies, and will in fact refinance much of the universe under study. However, Moody's also believes that the current process of bank disintermediation will continue.

Moody's notes that about 63% of rated speculative-grade debt in the EMEA region matures through 2014. Of that, about two-thirds is currently bank debt with one-third being bonds. Annual refinancing requirements pick up from USD62 billion in 2011 to peak at USD90 billion in 2013.

"Issuers with corporate family ratings (CFRs) in the Ba category represent 66% of debt maturing in 2011. The higher percentage of higher-rated issuers in 2011 should make the near-term refinancing task easier," says Modi.

However, Moody's cautions that those issuers with maturities in 2013 and beyond may face greater challenges as a higher percentage of these companies are more highly-leveraged LBOs, with some greater concentration in the B rating category. Refinancing requirements of those companies will also coincide with increasing maturities of similar (unrated) LBOs, resulting in greater competition for refinancing capital. "We expect that many of the stronger LBOs and other speculative-grade companies will continue to look to refinance early to avoid the upcoming refinancing peak in 2013," says Modi.

The 25 largest rated speculative-grade issuers account for 50% of total speculative-grade debt. The successful refinancing of a few large fallen angels in key sectors such as Automotive and Metals & Mining would materially reduce the overall maturity burden. Fallen angels and emerging market issuers account for 69% of speculative-grade debt that matures in 2011-2012.

The report also highlights that by country, the CIS (including Russia) shows the most pronounced emphasis on maturities prior to 2015. Germany and France also have over half their rated debt maturing during this period. By contrast, UK issuers on average have longer-dated maturities.

The report, entitled "Breaking Down the Wall of Half a Trillion of Debt: Refunding Needs of EMEA Speculative-Grade Corporates", can be found on www.moodys.com.

* * * * *

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS ONLY: For more information, please contact New York Press Information +1-212-553-0376; EMEA Press Information in London +44-20-7772-5456; Juan Pablo Soriano in Madrid +34-91-310-1454; Alex Cataldo in Milan +39-02-914-81-100; Eric de Bodard in Paris +331-5330-1020; Daniel Kolter in Frankfurt +49-69-707-30-700; Mardig Haladjian in Limassol +357-25-586-586; Alex Sazhin in Moscow +7-495-228-60-60; Petr Vins in Prague +4202 2422 2929; Tokyo Press Information +813-5408-4110; Hilary Parkes in Toronto +1-416-214-1635; Hong Kong Press Information +852-3758-1350; Hector Lim in Sydney +612 9270 8102; Luiz Tess in São Paulo +5511-3043-7300; Alberto Jones Tamayo in Mexico City +5255-1253-5700; Daniel Rúas in Buenos Aires +54 11-4816-2332 ext. 105; Leon Claassen in Johannesburg +27-11-217-5470; Jehad el-Nakla in Dubai +971 4 237 9536; or visit our web site at www.moodys.com

London
Chetan Modi
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Paris
Myriam Durand
MD - EMEA Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's France SAS
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
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United Kingdom

Moody's: Increasing Challenges for EMEA Corporate Speculative Grade Issuers From 2013
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