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Sony debt rating diminished by Moody's

MOODY'S Investors Service lowered its long-term debt rating on Sony Corp by a notch to A3, citing concerns about slumping electronics demand and intensifying competition.

"The global recession has caused a significant slowdown in demand for Sony's major electronics products, such as flat-panel display TVs and digital cameras," the United States credit rating agency said yesterday.

It was the first downgrade for Sony since December 2005, when it earned its A2 rating. Moody's also gave a "negative" outlook for Sony, meaning the rating could be cut again.

The Japanese electronics and entertainment company has been hit by the global slowdown. The strong yen has also hurt Tokyo-based Sony, dragging it to its first annual loss in 14 years for the fiscal year to the end of March.

The maker of the PlayStation 3 games console and Bravia flat-panel TVs lost 98.9 billion yen (US$1 billion) for the fiscal year to the end of March.

Sony is projecting a 120 billion yen loss for the fiscal year to the end of March 2010.



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