Corporate defaults soar as credit quality slides

Corporate credit quality in Western Europe is set to continue declining in 2002, in spite of downgrades already hitting record levels last year, according to a report by Moody’s Investors Service.

The corporate sector suffered 123 downgrades last year against just 16 upgrades, representing $458.2 billion and $24.1 billion of debt respectively. Last year the telecoms industry alone accounted for 37% of all corporate sector downgrades. Deterioration this year is likely to be more widespread

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