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Retailers are expected to suffer big spike in bond default rate in 2017

Sinking oil prices left energy company debt issuers crushed by defaults, distressed exchanges and bankruptcies in 2016. But they’re no longer the headliners weighing on the corporate bond market—2017 could be notorious for retailer-debt woes.

Retail has become a growing and significant portion of Fitch Ratings “Bonds of Concern” list, with more than $4 billion of high-yield retail debt outstanding now at high risk of default in the next year, the agency said in a new report. They’re not alone in their view; analysts at CreditSights have an underperform rating on the retail sector.

Read:High-yield defaults swell again as August slowdown was temporary blip

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