Italy's credit crunch spreading to businesses of all sizes

Standard & Poors report says country remains 'bankcentric'

Italy's credit crunch spreading to businesses of all sizes

Milan, June 6 - Italy's credit crunch is expanding beyond medium and large enterprise and bleeding into small businesses too, Standard & Poor's director of corporate ratings in Italy said on Thursday. "Until now, difficulty accessing credit effected predominately medium and large companies, but now it has become a problem for all," Standard & Poor's Renato Panichi said. "Italy remains 'bankcentric' but company bonds will increase significantly," Panichi said. "There are a lot of opportunities for Italian companies, but we are still a little behind other competitor countries," the rating agency's southern Europe director, Maria Pierdicchi, said. "While it is true that our companies and production is different, smaller and more fragmented, we have many fine businesses that could successfully access corporate bonds," Pierdicchi said.

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