JSDA’s Kaneko Comments on Eksportfinans Downgrade to Junk at S&P

Toshiyuki Kaneko, manager at the planning unit of Japan’s Securities Dealers Association, comments on the downgrade to junk of Norway’s Eksportfinans ASA.

Kaneko made the comments in an e-mail to Bloomberg news received yesterday.

“It is a regret to learn that S&P downgraded its rating on Eksportfinans on February 15 reportedly based on the discussion with the Norwegian Government.”

“We have yet to receive any direct response from the Norwegian Government. In the meantime, we will keep watching closely how the things develop.”

“JSDA has not directly communicated with the bondholders of Eksportfinans, but has been informed of their concerns through the securities firms who are members of JSDA. Their main concerns are; while not resulting in default, the downgrading of the bonds brought about repercussions including substantial decreases in market value of the bonds, inevitable disposal based on pre-determined investment policies and exclusion of Eksportfinans issues from indexes, and since a clear debt repayment plan has not been presented, investors, particularly those who hold longer-dated bonds, are anxious about the company’s debt repayment in the future.”

“JSDA has already conveyed the above concerns to the Norwegian government and Eksportfinans by the letter sent to them. JSDA expects, for the sake of the bondholders, that the debt repayment plan of Eksportfinans will be announced as soon as possible.”

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