The number of fallen angels - borrowers downgraded from investment grade to speculative grade - was up in 2006, raising concerns about default risk in the coming year.
According to Standard & Poor's, 46 issuers were downgraded to speculative grade for the year to December 6, and a further 43 are at risk of dropping to junk status. There were 40 fallen angels in the whole of 2005.
The affected issuers have $67.1 billion of debt outstanding. Of the six issuers downgraded since last month, three