Tough Market Conditions for US Commercial Finance & Leasing Companies
The Rating Outlook for the U.S. commercial finance and leasing sector remains Negative, according to Fitch Ratings. Since Jan. 1, 2001, Fitch has taken 31 rating actions, including lowering ratings 27 times for 16 issuers. During this period, four issuers had their ratings raised with only the iStar Financial Corp. action based on improved company fundamentals. The last 30 months, beginning with the problems announced by FINOVA Capital Corp., have been one of the most tumultuous periods ever for the commercial finance and leasing sector. During this period, not only did some of the largest issuer bankruptcies in the sector occur, FINOVA and Comdisco, Inc., but many industry constituents pondered the viability of the publicly-owned independent finance company business model, Fitch added.