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Section: General News - Fitch Thailand downgraded three nationally-rated corporate finance issuers in 2009, and recorded no upgrades, as economic conditions have continued to weaken since 2008. In 2009, downgrades outnumbered upgrades for the first time in Fitch Thailand's National Rating history. Nonetheless, the majority of ratings have remained stable through this economic downturn. There have been no defaults among entities in Fitch Thailand's National Rating universe, due in part to the relatively short rating history and limited size of the Thai bond market. At year-end 2009, two out of 40 Fitch Thailand-assigned National Ratings in the corporates, banks and non-bank financial institutions (altogether referred to as corporate finance) sectors had a negative outlook, while no issuers carried a positive outlook or watch. Fitch expects economic conditions to improve throughout the remainder of 2010, although legal and regulatory risks have risen for the telecommunication and industrial sectors - which could have negative credit implications in the medium term. In addition, there are some downside risks to economic growth as a result of continued political instability.
This study provides key data and analysis on the performance of Fitch Thailand's National Ratings in 2009 and over the past eight years, capturing the period 2002-2009.
The study includes all publicly rated corporate finance issuers since Fitch first began assigning National Ratings in Thailand in 2001, and includes a total of 201 rating observations. The report also provides transition rates for structured finance in a separate section. Short-Term National Ratings are excluded from this study. At year-end 2009, Fitch Thailand maintained 40 National Ratings on corporate finance issuers and 10 on structured finance bonds.
It is important to note that due to Fitch Thailand's short history of coverage and the limited size of the Thai credit markets, the findings of this National Ratings Transition Study are subject to estimation errors as a result of the relatively small sample size. As the total number of Fitch Thailand National Ratings coverage expands and the timescale lengthens, the agency expects this data to become richer.
Fitch Thailand National Rating Activities in 2009 - Corporate Finance At year-end 2009, the 40 National Ratings included in the study ranged from 'AAA(tha)' to 'BBB-(tha)'. Two entities - namely, Export-Import Bank of Thailand (a wholly-owned state policy bank) and PTT Public Company Limited (Thailand's largest oil and gas company, majority-state-owned) - maintained their National Ratings at 'AAA(tha)'. The lowest rating was 'BBB-(tha)', which was assigned to a property development company.
Fitch Thailand National Ratings distribution is examined by rating category …