Asian Liquidity Stress Index Declines Slightly to 23.2 Percent in July

Moody's Investors Service's Asian Liquidity Stress Index (Asian LSI) fell only slightly to 23.2% in July from 23.6% in June.

The index measures the percentage of high-yield companies with an SGL-4 score and decreases when speculative-grade liquidity appears to increase.

"The month-on-month change in the index -- which decreases when speculative-grade liquidity appears to increase -- reflects the net increase of two companies to 125 in the high yield space," says Annalisa Di Chiara, a Moody's Vice President and Senior Analyst.

"At the same time, the number of companies with our lowest/weakest speculative-grade liquidity score of SGL-4 remained at 29," adds Di Chiara, speaking on the release of Moody's latest report on the index.

Moody's report points out that the reading in July remains well below the record high of 37.0% reached during the fourth quarter of 2008, during the global financial crisis. However, the result in July was slightly above the index's long-term rolling average of 20.2% and its trailing-12-month average of 21.7%.

As for the liquidity sub-index for Chinese speculative-grade companies, the reading fell to 25.0% in July from 26.5% in June, as the number of Chinese companies with SGL-4 scores fell by one to 17, and the total number of high-yield Chinese companies remained at 68.

China's high-yield property sub-index also fell. The change to 19.5% from 21.4% reflected the number of companies with an SGL-4 score falling by one to eight, and the number of high-yield rated companies in the sub-index decreasing to 41 from 42.

On the Chinese high-yield industrial sub-index, Moody's report says the index retreated to 33.3% from 34.6%, as the number of companies with an

SGL-4 score remained at nine, and the number of high-yield rated companies rose by one to 27.

The Indonesian sub-index was unchanged at 8.0%, as the number of Indonesian companies with an SGL-4 score remained at two and the total number of high-yield Indonesian companies remained at 25.

Moody's report also says that while there were no upgrades or downgrades of corporate family ratings in July, the rating outlooks for five Asian high-yield companies were changed, all in a positive direction.

Moody's had assigned speculative-grade ratings to 125 non-financial companies in Asia (excluding Japan and Australia) covering $68.8 billion of rated debt by the end of July 2014, versus 123 companies and $65.2 billion of rated debt at end-June 2014.

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