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The credit downturn caused by COVID-19 has been abrupt and severe, with a tremendous variance of impact across different corporate sectors. As markets begin to reopen, we will continue to share our views on the economic and credit implications.

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Coronavirus Impact

Key Takeaways From Our Articles

Our periodic roundup of key takeaways from our articles brings together all of S&P Global Ratings’ coronavirus-related research—including our regularly updated list of rating actions we have taken globally on corporations, sovereigns, and project finance.


Global debt issuance is set to jump 6% this year, with nonfinancial corporates leading the way. On the downside, we expect structured finance issuance to contract at least 30%. While ratings changes have been largely negative, upgrades do occur—notably for Tesla (upgraded to 'B+' from 'B-') and Netflix (to 'BB' From 'BB-').

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Economic Research

The Global Economy Begins A Slow Mend As COVID-19 Eases Unevenly

Published July 1, 2020

The COVID-19 health and economic shock appears to have peaked in most developed countries and China while many emerging markets struggle to contain the virus and the economic fallout. The focus has shifted to the recovery, which will be longer and more complicated than the downturn.

We now forecast global GDP to contract 3.8% in 2020, worse than the 2.4% contraction we previously expected, mainly reflecting a deeper, longer hit to emerging markets, led by India. We see a reasonably strong bounce in 2021-2023 with global growth averaging above 4%, but with permanent lost output from the COVID-19 shock.

The risks to our baseline are varied and remain on the downside. Health developments and related restrictions are key in the next year; productivity and public balance sheet risks lie further out.


At S&P Global Ratings we are continuously assessing the economic and credit impact of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. Subscribe to our Coronavirus Bulletin today and we will ensure you have all our latest research and forecasts as they are published.

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Global Credit Conditions

The Shape Of Recovery: Uneven, Unequal, Uncharted

Published July 1, 2020

Credit damage. The COVID-led recession will likely weigh on credit metrics well into 2023 from the combination of lost output and increased debt burdens, threatening corporate solvency.

A different recovery. The shape of recovery will differ from previous crises, with a wide range of outcomes across industries and geographies, and accelerating some secular industry shifts.

Swift stimulus worked; pull-back carries risks. Central banks and governments acted promptly and massively to limit the damages to the real economy and the markets, but debt levels took another step up, making the unwinding of this liquidity support difficult, and widening the gap between market prices and credit fundamentals.

Profound political impact. National and international fragmentation could intensify as lowincome populations are suffering disproportionately, exacerbating inequalities and social tensions, while the disruption of critical supply chains revives economic nationalism.

Opportunities. The crisis could present an opportunity for governments to support the recovery through infrastructure investment, supporting a green, digital, and more sustainable economy.


Here, S&P Global Ratings answers the top 10 investor questions we've received regarding the analytical decision-making process.

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COVID-19 Heat Map:

Post-Crisis Credit Recovery Could Take To 2022 And Beyond For Some Sectors

While businesses around the world are starting to reopen, albeit unevenly, after coronavirus-driven lockdowns, S&P Global Ratings expects credit measures for some sectors to take until 2022, 2023, and beyond, to fully recover. Credit measures were weak prior to the pandemic, as demonstrated by the proliferation of low-speculative-grade ratings in non-financial corporates. The global pandemic and oil & gas price collapse and resulting economic recession have led to significant downgrade actions, particularly in the most affected sectors.

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Global Financing Conditions:

Bond Issuance Is Expected To Finish 2020 Up 6% After A Strong Second Quarter

Published July 27, 2020

Despite the COVID-19-driven global recession deepening in the second quarter, global bond issuance soared to an all-time high, led by U.S. corporations.

The economic recovery slated to begin in the third quarter of 2020 will likely be a long, slow process. Some central banks and governments have expanded their initial support, but it is unclear when more normal functioning of economic and financial relationships will resume. Based on these factors, we believe global bond issuance will increase by 6% in 2020.

While issuance volumes so far in 2020 rose at a faster pace in both Greater China and Latin America than at the same point in 2019, recent evidence points to investors being more selective, which may ultimately curb issuance growth in the second half of this year.

Global Refinancing--Rated Corporate Debt Due Through 2025 Nears $12 Trillion

Nearly $11.9 trillion in corporate debt rated by S&P Global Ratings is scheduled to mature globally through 2025.

Annual maturities rise to a peak of $2.28 trillion in 2023, and debt maturities now peak one year later than they did at the beginning of 2020.

$3.1 trillion (or 26%) of the debt maturing through 2025 is speculative-grade, and, while this debt carries more refinancing risk than investment-grade, companies have more time to refinance as these maturities do not peak until 2025.

With record new volume of issuance in the first half of 2020, the level of rated corporate debt instruments outstanding globally (including those maturing after 2025) rose by 3.8% in the first half of 2020 to nearly $21.4 trillion.

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Today, investors who deliberately apply an ESG lens to investing are growing rapidly worldwide as more come to realize the risks of separating such issues from business fundamentals. S&P Global Ratings ESG Evaluation, and its related research, insight, and analysis, is for companies looking to help their investors gain a better understanding of their strategy, purpose and management quality.

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Market Liquidity In A Crisis:

Five Key Lessons From COVID-19

Published July 8, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, investors rapidly sought to reduce risk and stockpile cash. Market confidence receded very quickly, and liquidity came under significant strain. Only when central banks and governments took considerable measures to support the economy and lending environment did market liquidity start to flow again.

Can credit markets learn anything from this sudden liquidity squeeze? We've highlighted five key lessons to consider for any future periods of volatility and liquidity strain in credit markets.

Default, Transition, And Recovery

S&P Global Ratings Credit Markets Research is used by the world’s financial markets when they need data driven insights and analysis. Whether to help evaluate strategic portfolio positions, develop investment ideas, or identify potential gaps and opportunities, we provide top-down information on ratings transitions and anomalies, ratings performance, and default and recovery research.

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