THE ODEBRECHT company which was once the construction king of Latin America now has “very high levels of credit risk” according to Fitch Ratings.
Fitch has lowered the risk rating of Odebrecht from B to CC and also reduced the rating of bonds it has issued in the market for $3.1 billion.
On the Fitch scale, the CC rating means that the the agency considers some type of default on the part of the issuer likely.
The downgrade, according to Fitch, reflects the growing challenge facing the company in 2017 to restructure its activities and regain cash flow. The agency believes that the company’s ability to replace its backlog has deteriorated following the release of details by the US Department of Justice about bribes it paid in 12 countries, including Panama.
For Fitch, the disclosures “have exacerbated Odebrecht’s reputational risk” and has prompted investigations in countries where the company operates, including Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Panama.