Sept 9 (The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Global default rates in the first half of 2013 were either in line with or below first-half 2012 results across Fitch-rated major global asset categories, according to Fitch Ratings.
Measured recovery in the U.S. and European housing markets as well as an improving U.S. economy laid the groundwork for modest cross asset default rates through the first half of this year.
Eight corporate finance defaults were recorded in the first six months of 2013 - all speculative-grade issuers. The Fitch-rated corporate default rate through June was 0.29%, with a speculative-grade default rate of 0.95%.
Fitch's one recorded sovereign default through June was Jamaica - the result of a distressed debt exchange (DDE). The sovereign issuer default rate was 0.97%. A missed payment on Detroit (MI) pension COPs (certificates of participation) in June accounted for a single speculative-grade default in the first half and brought the U.S. public finance sector's default rate for the period to 0.03%. There were no defaults among Fitch-rated international public finance issuers during the same period.
The impairment rate across Fitch-rated global structured finance securities improved in first-half 2013, registering 1.5% versus 2.8% during the same period last year. Across investment-grade securities, the impairment rate was marginal, at 0.02%, compared with 4.1% at the non-investment-grade level.
The complete study, 'Fitch Ratings Global Cross-Asset First-Half 2013 Default Update,' is available on Fitch's web site under Credit Market Research. The study contains default rate results by broad sector and region.