Global corporate defaults doubled from March to April, S&P finds

BY Reuters | CORPORATE | 05/15/24 03:58 PM EDT

By Matt Tracy

(Reuters) - Global corporate debt defaults more than doubled in April from March to their highest monthly tally since October 2020, according to a report from S&P Global Ratings.

April saw 18 defaults globally, led by the 10 U.S. defaults worth $7.1 billion, according to the S&P report published on Monday. These include the bankruptcies of IT provider ConvergeOne Holdings and fashion retailer Express Inc.

"Looming maturities, strained operations, and elevated refinancing costs were among the main reasons for the increase in bankruptcies," the report said.

In the U.S., 56% of April's total publicly rated defaults came from bankruptcies, while the remainder came from distressed exchanges.

However, distressed exchanges have been the primary driver of defaults globally this year, S&P noted. They accounted for 44% of defaults in April and 51% of defaults year-to-date, leading to 28 companies' defaults.

While the number of global defaults more than doubled from March to April, the volume of debt nearly halved from $16.3 billion to $8.6 billion, according to S&P.

Companies in the consumer products and media and entertainment sectors led the default tally in April. Both sectors have accounted for the most defaults year-to-date.

Though the U.S. led the world in the number of defaults year-to-date, Europe's year-to-date default tally of 15 is at the region's highest level since 2008, S&P noted.

(Reporting by Matt Tracy; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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