Brazilian real notesBrazilian officials are accustomed to shrugging off the country’s debt levels by comparing them with those of much more heavily indebted Europe.

Although this misses the point – Brazil’s public debt is more burdensome than in most other countries because it has some of the highest interest rates in the world – the argument is doubly wrong if a new study by Moody’s is to be believed. Read more

In another unhappy turn for Pakistan, China’s president Xi Jinping postponed a state visit to the country on Saturday after three weeks of anti-government protests. Moody’s, one of the three big international credit rating agencies, warned this was a credit negative for the country because it would delay “Chinese aid and a host of deals between the countries”.

Such deals with China, Pakistan’s largest trading partner, are reported to be worth $34bnRead more

It was not a downgrade but Moody’s decision to cut its outlook on Brazil’s sovereign rating was something of a blow for Latin America’s largest economy.

Given the problems that India has been having with its plunging rupee and widening fiscal deficit, is there any reason to think that India could be next in the firing line? Beyondbrics spoke to Atsi Sheth, a senior credit officer at Moody’s, to hear her views on Asia’s third largest economy. Read more

For a different perspective on Moody’s move this week to lower its outlook on Brazil’s sovereign rating, see this commentary from Joaquim Levy (pictured), chief executive officer of BRAM, the asset management arm of Bradesco, one of the country’s biggest home-grown banks. Read more

Moody’s has cut its outlook on Brazil’s rating from positive to stable.

Although it’s not a downgrade, it is a blow. For years Brazil’s upward growth – and improving credit rating – have been taken for granted. That’s no longer so. The move comes after Standard and Poor’s revised its outlook on Brazil from stable to negative in JuneRead more

A safer bet than Greece

The Democratic Republic of Congo might not be on many fixed income investors’ radars at the moment, but that hasn’t stopped credit rating agency Moody’s assigning the country a B3 rating.

What’s the rationale? And where does that put DR Congo in the credit rating spectrum? Read more

Whether the global capital flows of the last few years are ended or just temporarily disrupted, here’s a reminder of what investors should be looking out for when it comes to emerging market companies’ debt.

According to Moody’s, it is sovereign risk, the strength of local financial markets and corporate governance. Read more

Credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded Slovenia on Tuesday to junk status, citing its weak banking system. After its being so often compared to Cyprus, you might think that’s fair enough.

But the downgrade leaves Slovenia in something of an odd position: it now has the widest range of ratings from the three main agencies out of any sovereign. Why the spread? Read more

If anyone was worried by Moody’s downgrade of BNDES and Caixa Econômica, the banks themselves seemed unruffled.

 Read more

Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Egypt’s government bond rating to Caa1 from B3 on Thursday, moving the country to seven notches below investment grade – barely a month after its previous downgrade on February 12.

The downgrade takes Egypt, by Moody’s definition, from obligations “considered speculative and… subject to high credit risk” to those “judged to be of poor standing and… subject to very high credit risk.” Read more

Two weeks before Argentina has to submit to a US appeals court details of its offer to “holdout” creditors, Moody’s has taken the unusual step of downgrading the country’s foreign law bonds, citing increased default risk. Read more

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded Egypt’s government bond rating to B3 from B2 (from five to six notches below investment grade) and kept it on review for a further downgrade.

The move follows fellow rating agency Fitch which downgraded the country on January 30 to B, one notch above Moody’s B3 level. S&P has Egypt on B-, the equivalent level to Moody’s.

Full statement from Moody’s follows. Read more

Credit rating agency Moody’s on Monday raised the Philippines’ debt rating to just a notch below investment grade, boosting expectations that the country, one of the world’s few investment bright spots, may finally win an investment grade rating next year.

The Moody’s upgrade aligns its rating with those of Standard & Poor’s and Fitch. Read more

Photo: Bloomberg

Credit rating agencies from China, Russia and the US are establishing a joint venture that they say will change the assessing of risk in global finance.

Dagong, a Chinese agency that has repeatedly downgraded the US, Egan-Jones, a small US agency, and Russia’s RusRating said they were answering calls for reform of the international credit rating system by linking forces to create the Universal Credit Rating Group. Read more

South Korean banks have won a vote of confidence from Moody’s Investors Service, which said they had become more resilient to foreign currency liquidity risks and high levels of household debt default.

It is welcome news for the Korean government as well, as concerns over the vulnerability of Korean banks sharply drove down the won’s value during the 2008-09 financial crisis, stoking a sense of vulnerability in Asia’s fourth-largest economy. Read more

The fallout from Vietnam’s slow-burn economic and banking crisis continues to spread.

On Friday, Moody’s downgraded the Communist-ruled state’s sovereign credit rating because soaring bad debts have limited banks’ ability to lend, damaging the country’s medium-term growth prospects and raising the spectre of a costly government banking bailout. Read more

Tough news for Africa’s biggest economy. Credit rating agency Moody’s has downgraded South Africa by one notch to Baa1 from A3.

The country’s sovereign debt is still investment grade, but the agency has left the country on negative outlook, meaning a further downgrade could come. It compounds the bad news of spreading strikes and unrest. South Africa’s inclusion on Monday in a widely-tracked global bond index is not under threat. But having just joined the club, the country won’t want to start by offending the other members. Read more

South Korea has won a vote of confidence from Moody’s. The international ratings agency on Monday raised the country’s sovereign credit rating to a par with Japan and China, citing the country’s strong fiscal fundamentals and economic resilience.

The country’s sovereign credit rating was raised by one notch to Aa3 from A1. It is the first time that Korea has hit the double A ratings, the fourth-highest. The upgraded rating is two notches higher than the equivalent from Standard & Poor’s and one step above that from Fitch. Read more

Slovenia’s borrowing costs surged on Friday after Moody’s downgraded its sovereign rating a full three notches, from A2 to Baa2, with continued negative outlook, prompting fears that the Alpine country could be forced to seek a bail-out.

The ratings agency said the move – to just two grades above junk status – reflected problems with Slovenia’s “challenged banking system,” the increasing cost of government borrowing and the country’s deteriorating economic outlook . Read more