Report by Highland Capital sees cracks emerging in retail, telecom and media sectors that could spell trouble ahead if investors turn more risk-averse
Even as the stock market reaches new highs and the U.S. economy picks up steam, industries such as retail, telecommunications and media are facing a surprising amount of disruption that could spell trouble ahead for currently healthy companies in those sectors if the investing climate sours, according to a recent report.
Default rates are low right now, but there are signs of faint cracks in those sectors that point to a risk that investment-grade companies could see their debt fall into speculative-grade or junk territory if and when investors become more risk-averse, according to the report, which was unveiled at a press conference Tuesday by distressed-debt investment firm Highland Capital Management LP.
According to the Highland report, more industries are facing cyclical or secular challenges today than in 2015, when four troubled sectors accounted for $87 billion in U.S. dollar-denominated leveraged loans. The most troubled industries then were energy, metals and mining, which together were the source of $49 billion of these loans, or 5% of the total, according to the report. The manufacturing sector seemed at that time to be weakening, but it accounted for only $37.7 billion, or 4% of the total…
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