Kamakura Reports 10th Improvement in Corporate Credit Quality in Last 11 Months

New York - 2 March 2010

Kamakura adds 1,889 Public Firms in China to KRIS Universe

Kamakura Corporation announced Tuesday that the Kamakura index of troubled public companies improved in February for the tenth time in the last eleven months. The index declined from 10.23% in January to 9.96% in February. Kamakura’s index reached a recent peak of 24.3% in March, 2009. Kamakura defines a troubled company as a company whose short term default probability is in excess of 1%. Credit conditions are now better than credit conditions in 71.1 percent of the months since the index’s initiation in January 1990, and the index is 3.77 percentage points better than the index’s historical average of 13.73%. The all-time low in the index was 5.40%, recorded on May 11, 2006, while the all-time high in the index was 28.0%, recorded on September 28, 2001. This month’s index is the first that includes public firms in China. With the addition of 1,889 public firms in China and 271 firms in Indonesia to the KRIS universe, the index is now based on default probabilities for more than 29,200 companies in 32 countries. Both the index and daily updates on default probabilities for all 29,200 companies are now available starting from 8 a.m. in London and 3 a.m. in New York.

In February, the percentage of the global corporate universe with default probabilities between 1% and 5% decreased by 0.13 percentage points to 6.82%. The percentage of companies with default probabilities between 5% and 10% was up 0.02 percentage points to 1.57%. The percentage of the universe with default probabilities between 10 and 20% was down 0.11 percentage points to 0.89% of the universe, while the percentage of companies with default probabilities over 20% was also down, decreasing 0.05 percentage points to 0.68% of the total universe in December.

Kamakura’s President Warren A. Sherman said Tuesday, “The rated firms showing the largest increase in 1 month default risk in January included Insight Health Services, SAS AB of Sweden, and Blockbuster Inc. for the second month in a row.”

The Kamakura index uses the annualized one month default probability produced by the best performing credit model of the Kamakura Risk Information Services default and correlation service. The model used is the fourth generation Jarrow-Chava reduced form default probability, a formula that bases default predictions on a sophisticated combination of financial ratios, stock price history, and macro-economic factors. The countries currently covered by the index include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States.

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