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S&P: US BBB-rated corporate debt reaches $3.8 trillion

The BBB rating category represents the largest chunk of outstanding U.S. corporate debt instruments rated by S&P Global Ratings, at $3.792 trillion.

The BBB category reflects 53% of investment-grade bonds, which are rated BBB- or above, in the U.S. S&P Global Ratings said total BBB-rated debt, including approximately $3.2 trillion in bonds and notes, is more than 2.5 times the size of the speculative-grade bond market, which is characterized by a BB+ or lower rating.

Globally, the amount of corporate debt, which includes bonds, notes, term loans, and revolving credit facilities, in the BBB category surpasses $7 trillion, with U.S. companies accounting for 54%. Seventy-three percent of this debt is from nonfinancial companies, while the remaining is from financial services companies.

Sector-wise, financial institutions represent $744 billion of the U.S. BBB-category debt, while the utility and telecommunications sectors represent the highest amounts of BBB debt among the nonfinancial sectors, totaling $394 billion and $445 billion, respectively.

Approximately $1.9 trillion of U.S. corporate debt in the BBB category is due to mature through 2023, S&P Global Ratings noted.