Moody’s is pessimistic about Korean companies given the challenges they face as a result of trade uncertainties and a wobbly global economy.“Our outlook is negative,” said Chris Park, associate managing director of corporate finance group, on Monday. “The overall profitability of export-dependent companies deteriorated in 2019 due to a global economic slowdown, but their financial stability weakened as they continue to maintain sizable investment.“There is a chance for improvement in 2020, but we believe the rate of improvement will likely be limited,” he said in a press conference held in Yeouido, western Seoul. Of 24 Korean companies rated by Moody’s, 14 now have negative credit outlooks, he added.This “reflects reduced financial buffers amid weak economic conditions, large committed investment or both,” Moody’s said in a press release. The assessment challenged widely expressed expectations that conditions will improve next year ? especially in tech and semiconductors ? after a rough 2019, which was beset by low economic growth, low inflation and sluggish investment. “The headwinds in global trade will outweigh the anticipated recovery in the industry,” said Sean Hwang, a Moody’s analyst, in a statement. “Profitability in cyclical sectors will likely remain weak in 2020 despite a marginal improvement from 2019,… Read full this story
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