The creditworthiness of 18 big businesses in Korea plummeted in the first half of this year, according to Korean credit ratings firm NICE Investors Service on Monday.
Only six large companies’ ratings improved.
“Business conditions in key industries have worsened, while the coronavirus pandemic also had an impact, resulting in increased downward pressure on credit ratings,” NICE said.
The worst-affected sectors are car parts, steel, petrochemicals, aviation and hospitality. Several of the firms are Doosan and Hanwha affiliates.
The outlook for the second half remains gloomy. As of the end of June, 57 companies are on the NICE watchlist for possible downgrades and only 11 for possible upgrades.
“Conditions for most industries are unfavorable due to global uncertainties amid the protracted coronavirus pandemic and worsening U.S.-China relations,” a NICE staffer said.
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