European defaults on the rise

The rate of defaults among speculative-grade European corporate bond and loan issuers more than doubled in 2006 and will increase further in 2007, according to New York-based Moody's Investors Service.

In its European Corporate Default and Recovery Rate Study, the agency reported no European investment-grade defaults in 2006. But the European weighted speculative-grade default rate rose to 1.9% last year, from 0.8% in 2005.

"For some of the most troubled companies, a higher baseline interest rate

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