Moody’s this week downgraded the ratings of Japanese ocean carriers NYK Line and MOL, citing concerns that vessel overcapacity could prevent the companies from paying down debt.
The credit agency also prescribed a "negative" outlook for both companies. Moody’s downgraded NYK’s rating to "Baa2" from "Baa1," while MOL’s rating was pushed down from "Baa1" to "A3."
The downgrades come after NYK reported a $179 million in its liner operations in its third fiscal quarter, and MOL posted a $173 million operating loss in the same October-December period.
Both carriers’ container businesses have been struggled with oversupply and weak rates, especially on European routes, Moody’s said. The ratings agency said NYK and MOL’s dry bulk and tanker units also face weak charter rates.
NYK and MOL could see some relief over the next year as their car shipment businesses stabilize and the hauling of liquefied natural gas expands.