Vinashin may “jeopardize” Vietnam companies access to debt

Dec 24, 2010. Vietnam and its state-backed companies will face greater difficulties borrowing money after reports Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group defaulted on a loan, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

Vinashin, as the shipbuilder is known, failed to meet an extended deadline to make a $60 million loan payment to foreign creditors, the Financial Times reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the situation.

“The implication of the Vinashin default is that it might not be company-specific after all,” Alan Greene, a Moody’s senior credit officer, said in a phone interview from Singapore. “The question now is why, seemingly for the sake of $60 million, has Vietnam jeopardized access to credit markets?”

Vietnam’s debt rating was cut by Standard & Poor’s yesterday by one rung to BB-, three levels below investment- grade, putting it on par with Bangladesh and Mongolia. The downgrade followed a similar move by Moody’s earlier this month, adding to pressure on a government striving to tackle inflation of 11.75 percent, a 22-month high, and a weakening currency.

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