(CNN) – Greece has hit another low point in the 18 months since its debt problems worried global markets and even threatened the existence of the European Monetary Union.
On Monday, Standard & Poor’s – one of the ‘big three’ credit ratings agencies – cut the ratings of the troubled Mediterranean nation three notches to CCC with a negative outlook. That makes Greece the least credit-worthy country rated by the credit agency and signals the belief that Athens will default on its debt payments.
So if Greece is the worst, who is the second worst? According to the S&P, these are the top 10 nations least likely to pay back debts :
Hong Kong, China (CNN) – Kaching, kaching, kaching!
That’s the sound of billions of dollars being made in Hong Kong. It’s been echoing across our airwaves over the past twelve months from a series of high-profile IPOs by non-Asian companies. If these companies were moths, the bright allure would be the shimmer of money from mainland China’s nouveau riche.
Luxury-brand IPOs account for a large chunk of the billions recently being made in Hong Kong. Italian fashion house Prada could raise as much as $2.7 billion in its share offering later this month. Luggage maker Samsonite just bagged about $1.25 billion in its share sale last week. Milan Station, a local luxury-bag reseller, aimed to raise just $35 million in its May IPO. Actual requests shot past $7.4 billion. And last year, L’Occitane International’s IPO locked in more than $700 million in France’s first foray onto the Hang Seng, Hong Kong’s benchmark bourse.
As if that weren’t enough, non-luxury brand IPOs accounted for even more of Asia’s shine in the past year. Glencore, the world’s largest clearinghouse for commodities, cranked out about $10 billion in May. AIA and the Agricultural Bank of China together raised $50 billion in their IPOs last year – the latter of which was the largest in history.
All told, these companies will have raised an astounding $64 billion through Hong Kong IPOs in the last twelve months.
But there’s also a $64,000 dollar doubt that’s starting to creep into investor minds. With growing signs that the world economy is slowing down, is the attractive glow of Hong Kong fading with it?
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