Moody's puts 175 energy and mining firms on review as low prices bite

Moody's puts 175 energy and mining firms on review as low prices bite

The top five mining companies and three of the world’s biggest energy groups are among the hundreds the hundreds of mining and energy firms that Moody's placed on review for a credit downgrade. (Image: Screenshot via TheDollarVigilante | YouTube)

BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Vale are among the dozens of mining and energy firms that Moody's placed on review for a credit downgrade on Friday, as companies continue to get hit by a sharp drop in commodity prices triggered by oversupply and slowing growth in China.

The ratings agency said it would review the credit ratings of 12 mining companies in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and 11 firms in the US to "recalibrate the ratings in the mining portfolio to align with the fundamental shift in the credit conditions of the global mining sector."

In Canada, Moody’s placed on review for downgrade 12 mining companies, including Barrick Gold, Teck Resources, Eldorado Gold, IAMGOld Corp., Taseko Mines, HudBay Minerals and Lundin Mining, while the number of firms at risk of a downgrade in Australia were just four— Fortescue Metals, Newcrest Mining, South32 and Alcoa.

Three of the world’s top energy groups — Royal Dutch Shell, Total and Statoil — are also among the companies at risk of ratings downgrades following a collapse in oil prices that intensified this week, bringing losses in 2016 close to 30%.

Globally, the affected companies also include Newmont Mining, AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields. Glencore's credit rating was last month downgraded to one notch above junk status by Moody's, which cited likely weak mining market conditions over the next two years.

Moody’s expects to conclude most of its planned rating reviews of energy and mining companies by the end of the first quarter.