Speculative-grade default rates in the European Union (EU) rose to a record high in the second quarter, surpassing both the global and U.S. default rates for the first time since the second quarter of 2001, a report released by Standard & Poor’s said. The EU recorded a quarterly default rate of 5.11% in the second quarter compared with a rate of 2.39% in the U.S. and a global rate of 2.54%. A quarter earlier, the EU default rate came in at 2.84% compared with 2.49% for the U.S. and 4.10% globally. ‘Most of the credit deterioration in the first half was attributable to telecommunications and media issuers. The rising default rates affirm our downbeat expectations with regard to credit quality,’ Diane Vazza, head of Standard & Poor’s Global Fixed Income Research, said.
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