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Fitch puts Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC Partners on negative watch

Fitch Ratings has placed the ratings of BGC Partners Inc. and Cantor Fitzgerald LP on Rating Watch Negative.

The ratings include BGC Partners' and Cantor Fitzgerald's BBB- long-term issuer default ratings and F3 short-term issuer default ratings.

The negative watch reflects the potential for delayed deleveraging at BGC Partners and Cantor Fitzgerald after the downsized IPO by BGC Partners' real estate brokerage and finance subsidiary, according to the rating agency.

Cantor Fitzgerald's ratings recognize the company's established position in the middle-market brokerage space, increasing business diversification, a moderate risk profile, experienced management team and adequate liquidity.

BGC Partners' ratings reflect the company's established franchise in the inter-dealer broker space, experienced management team and improving profitability.

Fitch said it could lift the negative watch and assign a stable outlook if the two companies can reduce leverage to prior levels by the end of the first quarter of 2018.