The Straits Times
Published on Nov 22, 2012

Fitch cuts Sony, Panasonic debt ratings to junk


TOKYO (REUTERS) - Ratings agency Fitch is cutting the debt ratings of consumer electronics makers Sony and Panasonic to junk status, citing weakness in their business.

The credit rating agency downgraded Sony by three notches to BB-minus from BBB minus, saying "meaningful recovery will be slow".

"Fitch believes that continuing weakness in the home entertainment and sound and mobile products and communications segments will offset the relatively stable music and pictures segments and improvement in the devices segment which makes semiconductors and components," it said in a statement.

In a separate statement, Fitch cut Panasonic to BB from BBB minus, a two-notch downgrade, citing weakened competitiveness in its TVs and display panels as well as weak cash generation from its operations.