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Announcement:

Moody's: Moderate global growth to support Japanese corporates' earnings in 2015

 The document has been translated in other languages

09 Dec 2014

Tokyo, December 09, 2014 -- Moody's Japan K.K. expects Japanese non-financial companies' earnings and cash flow, both of which surged from a low base during the fiscal year ended March 2014, will increase modestly in 2015 on the back of moderate domestic and global GDP growth.

Leverage will decline slightly as a result, and companies' credit quality will remain intact. The majority (about 80%) of corporate outlooks are stable.

Moody's conclusions were contained in its 2015 outlook for Japanese non-financial corporates. The outlook reflects Moody's expectations for fundamental business conditions in the industry over the next 12 to 18 months.

While Moody's forecasts 0.5%-1.5% GDP growth in Japan, compared to 2.5%-3.5% growth for G20 economies, it sees structural reforms as key to jump-starting the country's economic growth.

Specifically, corporate tax reforms should support investments and encourage capital spending, while the yen's depreciation boosts the competitiveness of major Japanese corporates.

Labor-market reforms and sector-specific deregulation are among the reforms under way, which are positive developments. But potential impediments to growth include a slowdown in domestic GDP growth following the consumption tax increase in April, uncertainty over the timing of nuclear plant restarts in Japan, and slowing economic growth in China and rising geopolitical risk from the unrest in Ukraine.

On a sector-by-sector basis, Moody's says outlooks are stable for a handful of sectors. Margins will improve for Japan's automotive and steel sectors, owing partly to cost cuts and the favorable exchange rate.

Reduced costs will also support moderate EBITDA growth for shipping companies amid continued vessel oversupply. Revenue growth will be broadly in line with GDP growth for the telecommunications industry, and cost cuts will reduce the pressure on margins from heightened competition. Growth in consumer-related sectors will likely come from overseas because the domestic consumer market is mature.

But outlooks are negative for consumer electronics and energy. Significant pricing pressure and intensifying competition drive the negative outlook for consumer electronics. Overcapacity is pressuring refiners' margins, while uncertainty over the timing of nuclear restarts drives the negative outlook for utilities.

Moody's would consider changing the outlook for Japanese corporates to negative if weaker-than-expected global economic growth meaningfully slows demand for Japanese exports, structural reforms are delayed, weakened or not implemented, or the yen strengthens rapidly.

Moody's would consider a positive outlook if global demand, particularly from China and the US, strengthens faster than expected, increased corporate earnings and cash flow lead to substantial declines in leverage, or the domestic economy grows faster than we expect.

Subscribers can access the report (summary) at:

http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_1001595

Subscribers can access the presentation at:

http://www.moodys.com/viewresearchdoc.aspx?docid=PBC_177633

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS ONLY: For more information, please call one of our global press information hotlines: New York +1-212-553-0376, London +44-20-7772-5456, Tokyo +813-5408-4110, Hong Kong +852-3758-1350, Sydney +61-2-9270-8141, Mexico City 001-888-779-5833, São Paulo 0800-891-2518, or Buenos Aires 0800-666-3506. You can also email us at mediarelations@moodys.com or visit our web site at www.moodys.com.

This publication does not announce a credit rating action. For any credit ratings referenced in this publication, please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the most updated credit rating action information and rating history.

Maki Hanatate
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Japan K.K.
Atago Green Hills Mori Tower 20fl
2-5-1 Atago, Minato-ku
Tokyo 105-6220
Japan
JOURNALISTS: 813-5408-4110
SUBSCRIBERS: 813-5408-4100

Ian Lewis
Associate Managing Director
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 813-5408-4110
SUBSCRIBERS: 813-5408-4100

Releasing Office:
Moody's Japan K.K.
Atago Green Hills Mori Tower 20fl
2-5-1 Atago, Minato-ku
Tokyo 105-6220
Japan
JOURNALISTS: 813-5408-4110
SUBSCRIBERS: 813-5408-4100

Moody's: Moderate global growth to support Japanese corporates' earnings in 2015
No Related Data.
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