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Credit Benchmark

Credit Benchmark partners with leading financial institutions to provide the world’s most comprehensive market view of credit risk. By bringing together credit risk assessments from 30,000+ institutional risk experts, Credit Benchmark delivers a new, independent perspective of risk and forward-looking insights into the credit quality of companies and sectors globally.

November 2, 2020 / Real Estate

US, UK Housing Sectors Continue Slow Decline in Credit Quality: October 2020

From Credit Benchmark
Once again, no news may be good news for the US housing sector. There are positive forces, such as interest rates for mortgages at or near record lows, and a potential trend of buyers moving away from urban areas amongst other factors that may buoy demand for housing and support construction. Similar trends are occurring in the UK housing market, where mortgage demand is red hot.
November 2, 2020 / Economy, Business

Energy Sector Credit Quality Deterioration Continues: October 2020

From Credit Benchmark
Challenges in the energy sector are numerous and persistent. These challenges are perhaps most evident in the US energy sector, where strained prices and weakened demand have accompanied months of reduced travelling for professional and personal reasons. Bankruptcies are increasing. Some firms are doing better than others, yet few are in great shape.
November 2, 2020 / Economy

Auto Sector Credit Troubles Piling Up: October 2020

From Credit Benchmark
The worst may not yet have arrived for the US auto industry. In fact, there were some signs of recovery in Q3. But when a smaller-than-expected drop in sales is considered a good sign, it’s no surprise the credit quality for the industry is still in poor shape. The UK is experiencing similar issues, and is also dealing with concerns about Brexit. What’s more, a growth in COVID cases continue to weigh on economic recovery in each country.
October 27, 2020 / Economy

Financials Credit Risk Could Grow if Real Estate Woes Infect Wall St

From Credit Benchmark
The winners and losers in the virus crisis are becoming clearer. China reports a strong economic rebound while Western economies continue to struggle. Hotels and airlines fight for their survival while online fulfilment and delivery logistics firms cannot hire staff quickly enough. And real estate is seeing a “race for space” in residential markets, but serious viability issues in some commercial lines – Bloomberg report that Land Securities will sell a quarter of their total portfolio, mainly lightening up on retail and leisure.
October 26, 2020 / Economy

October Credit Consensus Indicators (CCIs) – UK, EU and US Industrials

From Credit Benchmark
Credit Benchmark have released the October Credit Consensus Indicators (CCIs). The CCI is an index of forward-looking credit opinions for US, UK and EU Industrials based on the consensus views of over 30,000 credit analysts at 40 of the world’s leading financial institutions.
October 16, 2020 / Business

US, UK Retail Sector Credit Quality Worsens Yet Again

From Credit Benchmark
Retail sales may be rising, even if the pace in August was lower than anticipated, but retailers themselves continue to struggle. The number of store closings in the US has remained higher than openings most weeks, bankruptcies are at a notable high and there’s potential for more in the months ahead, including many well-known brands.
October 13, 2020 / Economy

Leveraged Loans – Light at the End of the Tunnel or an Approaching Train?

From Credit Benchmark
Leveraged Loans continue to divide investor opinion. Values declined as part of the High Yield rout earlier this year, but they have been slower to recover. Winnie Cisar, Head of Credit Strategy at Wells Fargo points to a simple lack of liquidity, which is only now filtering back into the Leveraged Loan space with prices closing the gap vs. general High Yield.
October 7, 2020 / Economy

Rising Stars: Who is Shining Brightly?

From Credit Benchmark
Amid an onslaught of negative credit news, there are some bright spots. So-called Rising Stars, sectors whose credit quality has moved from high-yield or “junk” status to investment-grade, are growing, slowly but surely.
October 7, 2020 / Economy

Fallen Angels: Is the Curve Flattening?

From Credit Benchmark
Fallen Angels – companies whose credit quality has shifted from investment-grade to high-yield or “junk” status – continue to grow in number but at a slower pace than what we’ve been seeing for the past several months.
October 1, 2020 / Business

No Signs of a Soft Credit Landing for Airlines

From Credit Benchmark
With emergency government funding set to expire at the end of September, US Airlines are planning mass layoffs after a more than 80% collapse in revenues. The more cash rich carriers – such as SouthWest and Delta – have avoided Federal loans so far, hoping to tough it out until a vaccine arrives, with the prospect of a large increase in market shares for the survivors.
September 29, 2020 / Economy

Credit Problems Mount for US Energy Sector: September 2020

From Credit Benchmark
The besieged US energy sector continues to see credit deterioration, and with a multitude of problems facing the industry there is little cause for optimism. In the US, energy companies were supplying fewer barrels of gas per day even with the recovery in consumption, and shale producers are facing a cash crunch. Meanwhile, European oil producers are questioning whether it’s worth drilling.
September 28, 2020 / Economy

Credit Quality for US, UK Housing Sectors Stable: September 2020

From Credit Benchmark
With the economic picture still murky, no news may be good news for the US and UK housing sectors. Credit quality has seen little change in each region with the most recent update. Recent positive signs in the US and UK markets may suggest continued stabilization. But as noted last month, the UK is experiencing its worst recession on record and the sector’s credit prospects may limited for some time. There’s more reason for optimism for the US, according to some reports.
September 23, 2020 / Investing

September Credit Consensus Indicators (CCIs) – UK, EU and US Industrials

From Credit Benchmark
Credit Benchmark have released the September Credit Consensus Indicators (CCIs). The CCI is an index of forward-looking credit opinions for US, UK and EU Industrials based on the consensus views of over 30,000 credit analysts at 40 of the world’s leading financial institutions. The CCI tracks the total number of upgrades and downgrades made each month by credit analysts to chart the long-term trend in analyst sentiment for industrials.
September 21, 2020 / Economy

US, UK Retail Sector Default Risk Continues to Climb: September 2020

From Credit Benchmark
Except for a few lonesome doves, general retailers in the US continue to struggle. Sales have returned to pre-pandemic levels, but the composition is different and recent sales recoveries were lower than anticipated. Consumer spending increases have been moderate. Something similar can be said for UK retail and for UK consumer spending. COVID-19 remains an issue for each country.
September 18, 2020 / Economy

Credit Risk Changes and Equity Performance During COVID

From Credit Benchmark
Equity markets used to ignore credit risk, but COVID has changed all that. There is a growing demand to understand corporate and financial credit risk at all levels, from single issuers and corporate families to sectors, industries and countries. How far do equity market movements reflect credit developments during the COVID crisis?
September 9, 2020 / Economy, Investing

The Tortoise and the Hare: Consensus Credit Estimates and Corporate Credit Spreads

From Credit Benchmark
With rising infection rates and concerns about the looming virus season, the COVID crisis is clearly far from over. But with the first wave behind us, it is possible to see the past six months of market volatility in its broader context. The S&P500 is now higher than it was in February 2020, having at one stage lost one third of its value. The VIX spiked from a mid-February level of 14% to a mid-March high of 85%, and currently trades at 33%. The Global BBB spread\[1\] tripled from 1.5% to 4.5% and currently sits at 1.7%.
September 1, 2020 / Economy

Credit Quality Continues to Deteriorate for US, UK Auto Sectors: August 2020

From Credit Benchmark
While there are some signs the US auto industry is restarting after COVID, numerous challenges remain – and that’s not even factoring in overall weakness in the economy and personal finances. Credit weakness continues, and it’s unlikely to get much better until everything else improves. Similar can be said about the UK, where car sales are on the rise but where the economy is coming off its worst drop on record.
August 31, 2020 / Economy, Investing

Credit Challenge Grows for US Energy Sector: August 2020

From Credit Benchmark
Problems for the beleaguered US energy sector have continued to mount this year. Demand for oil plummeted, bringing down prices as competition and supplies grew. Bankruptcies continue in the industry as the broad economy continues to struggle, and it’s not clear how many firms will benefit from any improvement in prices.
August 31, 2020 / Investing, Economy

Shift from investment-grade to high yield debt continues to grow

From Credit Benchmark
The ranks of the Fallen Angels – firms whose credit quality has made the shift from investment-grade to high yield, or “junk” status – continue to grow, but the pace may be slowing down. Consensus credit data from Credit Benchmark – which gathers the collective credit quality estimates of lenders to these firms – shows that a growing number of companies have now entered the Fallen Angel category.
August 27, 2020 / Economy

The Solvency Boundary

From Credit Benchmark
In the Ernest Hemingway novel The Sun Also Rises, Mike is asked how he went bankrupt. “Two ways,” he answers. “Gradually, then suddenly.” COVID-19 seems to have rewritten the financial rules: Central Banks are pushing interest rates further into negative territory and Government support for businesses and their employees has pushed Sovereign debt to levels not seen since the Second World War.