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Sony stock downgraded to 'junk' by Fitch

BB-minus rating down to poor economy, strong Yen, high competition

Sony's stock has been downgraded to bb-minus status by rating company Fitch, the first group to label the corporation's shares as 'junk'.

Earlier this month, Moody's also downgraded the stock, although not to junk status.

Junk status is not an officially defined term, but generally refers to anything of BB status or below with a high risk of default and very little chance of any short or medium term gains.

The move "reflects Fitch's belief that meaningful recovery will be slow, given the company's loss of technology leadership in key products, high competition, weak economic conditions in developed markets and the strong yen," said the ratings group.

These conditions have hit Sony hard over the past year or two, partly prompting the promotion of former PlayStation boss Kaz Hirai to CEO and president of the group. His strategy of a 'joined up' Sony hopes to curb losses and build business by consolidating profitable areas of the business and building strategies for struggling branches such as flatscreen TVs.

However, with quarterly financial reports still showing a downward trend for both the games business and other core areas, Hirai's task is not getting any easier.

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Dan Pearson

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