Fitch cuts Sony, Panasonic debt ratings to junk

TOKYO Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:21am EST

TOKYO Nov 22 (Reuters) - Ratings agency Fitch said on Thursday it was cutting the debt ratings of consumer electronics makers Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp to junk status, citing weakness in their business.

The credit rating agency downgraded Sony by three notches to BB-minus from BBB minus, saying "meaningful recovery will be slow".

"Fitch believes that continuing weakness in the home entertainment and sound and mobile products and communications segments will offset the relatively stable music and pictures segments and improvement in the devices segment which makes semiconductors and components," it said in statement.

In a separate statement, Fitch cut Panasonic to BB from BBB minus, a two-notch downgrade, citing weakened competitiveness in its TVs and display panels as well as weak cash generation from its operations.

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