Canada Issuers Postpone Peak Refinancings to 2018, Moody’s Says

Canadian borrowers have postponed their heaviest bond repayments by four years to 2018, when they face C$28 billion ($25 billion) of debt due, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

“For the past four years, 2014 has loomed as the peak debt-maturity year for Canadian companies, but gradual refinancing pushed the peak to 2018,” Moody’s said in an annual report on Canadian refinancing.

Higher-rated companies, ranked Baa3 or higher, still have the most debt coming over the next five years in 2014, when they need to refinance C$14 billion, Moody’s said.

Thomson Reuters Corp. (TRI), the news and information services provider that competes with Bloomberg LP, Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI/B), the nation’s third-biggest wireless operator and Encana Holdings Finance Corp., Canada’s largest natural gas producer, each face more than C$1 billion of maturities this year, according to the report.

“Owing to the relatively high amount of investment-grade debt maturing this year, we expect a pick-up in investment-grade bond issuance in 2014,” according to the report.

Over the next five years, rated Canadian non-financial companies need to refinance C$87 billion, up from C$81 billion a year ago, according to the report.

Companies took advantage of “accommodating credit markets” to lock in interest rates near historical lows for as long as possible in 2013, increasing rated issuance 7 percent to C$43 billion, the most in eight years, according to Moody’s.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cecile Gutscher in Toronto at cgutscher@bloomberg.net

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