Deterioration in the creditworthiness of Japanese corporations and financial institutions continued unabated in the first quarter of 2009, with rating downgrades outnumbering upgrades by a whopping 24-to-1.
Worse, Standard and Poor’s Credit Research said there is little to suggest any turnaround in the near future:
Given the uncertain prospects facing Japanese and global economies, we believe that the downward trend in the credit quality of Japanese corporations and financial institutions may continue for some time.
Japan’s corporations were on an upswing from 2004 until mid-2008. In the third quarter of 2008, credit conditions began deteriorating and have been on a downward slide since, S&P said.
S&P downgraded 10 Japanese in the first quarter, while none were upgraded. An additional 14 corporations saw their outlooks slashed to negative.
In “Weakening of Credit Quality Among Japanese Corporate and Financial Institutions More Pronounced in Q1 2009,” S&P details its downgrades of 14 banks, insurance and securities firms, and its move to a negative outlook on 12 others.