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Southeast Asia's Biggest Companies Risk $392 Billion Debt Burden

  • Biggest Asean firms have $392 billion of liabilities
  • Ringgit, Rupiah slides are swelling foreign debt costs
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Southeast Asia’s biggest companies have increased debt sixfold since the regional financial crisis, stoking concern over default risks as investors draw parallels with the 1998 meltdown.

The region’s 100 largest listed companies by assets, including Thailand’s CP ALL Pcl, Petron Corp. of the Philippines and Singapore’s Wilmar International Ltd., had accumulated $392 billion by June 30, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s up six times from December 1998. Debt loads as a proportion of assets are climbing back near levels from the crisis at 31.7 percent, up from 29.5 percent in 2010.