Canadian credit quality unchanged despite increased cash holdings: Moody’s

When bond ratings slip, investors shrug With bond yields low and rising, what is the price of safety? Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Canada has fared better than other developed economies since the credit crisis, notes Moody’s vice president and senior credit officer Darren Kirk. However, it cautions that weak economic conditions in Europe, slowing growth in key emerging markets such as China, and the sluggish US economy, along with the persistent strength of the Canadian dollar, will weigh on the performance of non-financial corporates in the coming year. And, elevated domestic household debt in Canada represents another downside risk for the domestic economy, it says; adding that revised numbers show a debt to income ratio that is higher than previously estimated, and high relative to other advanced economies. “Although we expect household debt to grow more slowly through 2013, aided by tougher mortgage conditions,” Kirk says, “the pressure from lower consumer spending could intensify if new housing activity or house prices decline significantly from their current robust levels.” Moody’s notes that limited free cash flow will hinder improvement in Canadian non-financial corporates’ key financial metrics in 2013, with the median growth rate coming in under 5%. “Nevertheless, for the most part company balance sheets are strong enough to deal with external shocks,” it says. Credit quality for Canadian non-financial companies is expected to remain stable in 2013, says Moody’s Investors Service in a new report. The rating agency says that the stable outlook for Canadian non-financial companies is underpinned by its expectation for real GDP growth of between 2% and 3% during the year. James Langton Related news Catastrophe bond market gains momentum Keywords Bond Share this article and your comments with peers on social media

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