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Announcement: Moody’s: Outlook for Korean corporates stable, supported by steady external conditions

Announcement: Moody’s: Outlook for Korean corporates stable, supported by steady external conditions

 

Moody’s Investors Service says that the outlook for rated Korean non-financial corporates is stable, supported by healthy global economic growth.

“We expect financial leverage to remain broadly stable due to steady earnings and manageable capital spending,” says Wan Hee Yoo, a Moody’s Vice President and Senior Credit Officer.

“By sector, we expect generally favorable operating conditions for companies in the technologies, steel, refining and chemicals sectors, but the auto and retail sectors will continue to face challenges,” adds Yoo.

Moody’s conclusions are contained in its just-released presentation, “Non-financial corporates — Korea: 2018 Outlook.”

Korea’s economy will likely grow by 3.0% and 2.8% in 2017 and 2018, respectively, which is broadly similar to 2016, and this level of growth will keep domestic demand steady.

Globally, the G20 economies are likely to collectively grow at an annual rate of 3.1% in 2017 and 3.2% in 2018, higher than the 2.5% recorded in 2016. Synchronized global economic expansion currently underway should continue for the rest of 2017 and 2018.

In addition, Moody’s views that the probability of outright military conflict with North Korea has increased from ‘very low’ levels over the past few months, but remains ‘low’ and unlikely.

Furthermore, the funding environment will remain supportive, with rated Korean companies maintaining strong access to the domestic and international financial markets, based on their solid credit profiles.

We expect government support, the predominant driver of credit quality for the government-related issuers (GRIs) we rate, to remain intact because the Moon administration’s policy of support for and reform of the GRI sector is unlikely to change materially.

Of the 23 private sector companies we rate, four have positive outlooks and one has a negative outlook. All GRIs and their subsidiaries have stable outlooks.

For Korean corporates as a whole, downsides risks include a significant strengthening of the KRW, weaker-than-expected industry fundamentals, and the potential for military confrontation with North Korea.

Source: FXWire Research

 

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