Emerging market issuers hit by Covid-19 as global recession deepens

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Brian Adam
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The ratio of dips to hikes in the past 12 months in high-yield, investment-grade nonfinancial companies in emerging markets increased to 5.9x in April 2020, from 1.5x in late 2019.

Moody’s Investors Service released the fourth edition of its report on emerging markets, which includes its own indicators and data that point to a difficult year for sovereigns, sub-sovereigns, corporations and financial institutions in emerging markets globally.

“The global recession is deepening due to the high economic cost of coronavirus-related restrictions. We currently expect real GDP in the emerging G20 economies to contract 1.0% in 2020, “says Denis Perevezentsev, Moody’s Vice President and Senior Credit Officer.

“There have been a large number of downgrades among high-performing companies in recent months, reflecting the economic and financial impact that the coronavirus has had on emerging markets,” adds Perevezentsev.

Moody’s rates 106 emerging market sovereigns — a number that has grown steadily since 2004 when it rated just 63 — and more than 1,600 non-sovereign issuers from 70 emerging countries.

Latin American issuers represent 31% of all rated emerging market non-sovereign issuers, of which 28% are from Brazil. The negative trend has increased in the region: 35% of the ratings had a negative outlook or were under review for downgrade towards the end of April 2020. In addition, around 90% of issuers in Argentina have a negative trend, due to of sovereign-related pressures.

Latin America also comprises 26% of rated emerging market nonfinancial companies, of which 44% are from Brazil. 33% of the rated companies showed a negative trend as of April 30, 2020, determined by pressure from the sovereign in Mexico and a further deterioration of the credit profiles of the entities in Brazil and Peru.

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