TEXT-S&P: 2013 outlook for global asset managers is stable
Dec 5 - Our outlook for global traditional asset managers continues to be stable, primarily as a result of manageable debt burdens, extended debt maturity profiles, and generally sound financial profiles, said an article published today by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, titled "Sound Financial Profiles And Adaptable Business Models Support A Stable Outlook For Global Asset Managers." This view assumes a base-case scenario of modest gains in global equity markets, continued low interest rates, and sluggish economic growth or recession in major developed markets. "Under our base-case scenario, governments and policymakers in the eurozone and the U.S. will manage risks to avert macroeconomic shocks and growth will slow but not stall in China," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Dhruv Roy. "Under this scenario, we expect modest gains--albeit with some volatility--in global equity markets and investor sentiment. Nevertheless, we believe evolving macroeconomic and industry risks could weaken the creditworthiness of some asset managers we rate over the next year." Standard & Poor's Ratings Services' analysis of asset managers' credit risk focuses on their ability to meet financial obligations from recurring, predictable cash flows from ongoing operations. In this regard, asset managers' earnings and cash flow highly correlate with the performance of capital markets and overall investor sentiment. Although our ratings on asset managers assume a degree of market volatility and speak to franchise stability through market cycles, we could consider lowering ratings under some of our more pessimistic scenarios. In our view, the main sources of risk include the slow growth in the U.S. economy and fiscal adjustment, the continuation of the debt crisis in Europe, and the possibility of significantly declining growth in China. "In addition to economic factors, industrywide risks that could pressure profitability of asset managers over the course of 2013 and beyond include an increasing shift from active management to passive management and a consequent decline in fee income as a percentage of assets under management, declining retail investor confidence in equities, and the impact of an aging U.S. population," said Mr. Roy. The report is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect on the Global Credit Portal at www.globalcreditportal.com. If you are not a RatingsDirect subscriber, you may purchase a copy of the report by calling (1) 212-438-7280 or sending an e-mail to email@example.com. Ratings information can also be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site by using the Ratings search box located in the left column at www.standardandpoors.com.