84% more bankruptcies poured in Romania in Q1, 2009

The number of companies filing for bankruptcy in 2008 surged 126 percent to 14,157 from a year earlier and is expected to peak by doubling or tripling this year, declared for NewsIn Coface’s director Cristian Ionescu, after the rating agency downgraded Romania from “A4-” to “B”.
Coface lowered Romania's sovereign rating from “A4-” to “B” following the latest evaluation during which it slashed the ratings or outlooks for 47 states. Romania's rating does not target the sovereign debt, but rather indicates the average risk level companies pose in their own commercial transactions.

“The payment behavior of companies deteriorated significantly starting with October 2008. Practically all firms dependent on banking or external financing were profoundly affected,” said Ionescu, adding that non-payment incidents boosted on average 500 percent between October 2008 – March 2009 compared to the first nine months of last year.

The number of insolvency files for the bankruptcy procedure reached 4,000 in the first quarter of 2009, up 84 percent year-on-year, according to Ionescu. Coface reported non-payment incidents amounting to 27 million euros per month starting with October for its risk insurance portfolio.

Coface analysts consider that a rapid advance in lending, of 50 percent to up to 70 percent, is a reason of concern, but the rise of the crediting level in the gross domestic product (GDP) is not an anomaly for emerging economies.

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