by Marc Jones
LONDON (Reuters) – The number of companies or countries at risk of having their credit ratings cut has been pushed to an all-time high by the coronavirus pandemic, S&P Global analysis shows.
A total of 1,287 of S&P’s ratings are now on a downgrade warning — either with ‘negative outlooks’ where a move might take two years, or on ‘CreditWatch with negative implications’ where the risk is almost immediate.
It tops 1,028 in the wake of the financial crisis in 2009 and comes despite nearly 700 downgrades already being impacted by COVID-19 in recent months.
“Almost two-thirds of issuers face downgrade potential due to the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-related containment measures,” S&P said in its analysis.