Press Release

Kamakura Reports Decline in Corporate Credit Quality in December
Kamakura Troubled Company Index Increases 0.44% to 9.65%

NEW YORK, January 3, 2017: Kamakura Corporation reported Tuesday that the Kamakura troubled company index ended December at 9.65%, an increase of 0.44% from the prior month. The index reflects the percentage of the Kamakura 38,000 public firm universe that has a default probability over 1.00%. For the year the index declined 1.08% reflecting an overall improvement in credit quality. An increase in the index reflects declining credit quality while a decrease reflects improving credit quality.

As of the end of December, the percentage of the global corporate universe with default probabilities between 1% and 5% was 7.73%, an increase of 0.30% from the prior month; the percentage of the universe with default probabilities between 5% and 10% was 1.37%, an increase of 0.13% from the prior month; the percentage between 10% and 20% was 0.43%, unchanged; while the percentage of companies with default probabilities over 20% was 0.12%, an increase of 0.01% from the previous month. The index ranged from 8.89% on December 6 to 9.65% at the end of the month. This represented a marked reduction in volatility compared to the past several months.


At 9.65%, the troubled company index was at the 66nd percentile of historical credit quality (with 100 being best all time) over the period from January 1990 to the present. Among the ten riskiest rated firms in December, five were from the United States and three from Canada and two from Great Britain. During the month there were eleven defaults in our coverage universe. Vanguard Natural Resources (VNR: NASDAQ) remained the riskiest firm with a 1-year Kamakura Default Probability (“KDP”) of 37.20%.

Below is an updated view of the price movement in Vanguard Natural Resources wholly-owned indirect subsidiary, Eagle Rock Energy Partners LP 8.375% Issue due 1/06/2019 graphed against the 1- year and 3-year KDP for VNR.

Martin Zorn, President and Chief Operating Officer for Kamakura Corporation, said Tuesday, “As we enter the new year it is always fun to read the forecasts from the pundits. I saw a great quote this morning, ‘When in doubt, copy everyone else’ in describing the forecasts among a group of 15 Wall Street strategists for the S&P 500 as reported in today’s Wall Street Journal. The article went on to point out that the gap between the most optimistic and pessimistic forecasts is just 9%, the smallest on record dating back to 1999. Speaking of quotes, this reminded me of the late Senator and sociologist, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who famously said, ‘Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts”. For 2016 we know that regional bank stock prices are finally above their 2007 highs, Brazil’s stock market had its first positive year in the last 6, betting against short-term volatility worked well in 2016 and this morning the ISM manufacturing index jumped to 54.7 in December, the highest in two years and far above the consensus estimate of 53.8. What this means is that portfolio managers need the proper tools to provide econometric and risk simulation for real world and analytical analysis and a robust set of scenarios upon which to run the analysis.”

The Kamakura troubled company index measures the percentage of 38,000 public firms in 68 countries that have annualized 1 month default risk over one percent. The average index value since January, 1990 is 14.86%. Beginning in November 2015, the Kamakura index has used the annualized one month default probability produced by the KRIS version 6.0 Jarrow-Chava reduced form default probability model, a formula that bases default predictions on a sophisticated combination of financial ratios, stock price history, and macro-economic factors. The KRIS version 6.0 models were developed using a data base of more than 2.2 million observations and more than 2,600 corporate failures. A complete technical guide is provided to subscribers which includes full model test results and parameters. The KRIS service also includes a wide array of other default probability models that can be seamlessly loaded into Kamakura’s state of the art enterprise risk management software engine Kamakura Risk Manager. Models available include the non-public firm default model, the commercial real estate model, the U.S. bank model, and the sovereign model. Related data includes credit default swap trading volume by reference name, market implied credit spreads, and prices on all traded corporate bonds traded in the United States market. Macro factor parameter subscriptions include Heath, Jarrow and Morton term structure models for government securities in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Spain, Sweden, Australia, Japan and Singapore. All parameters are derived in a no arbitrage manner consistent with the seminal papers by Heath, Jarrow and Morton and Amin and Jarrow. A KRIS Macro Factor Scenario Service subscription includes both risk neutral and “real world” empirical scenarios for interest rates and macro factors.

The version 6.0 model was estimated over the period from 1990 to May, 2014, which includes the insights of the entirety of the recent credit crisis. The 68 countries currently covered by the index are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Nigeria, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Viet Nam.

To follow the troubled company index and other risk commentary by Kamakura on a daily basis, please follow
Kamakura CEO Dr Donald van Deventer (
Kamakura President Martin Zorn (
Kamakura Principal Risk Officer Suresh Sankaran (
and Kamakura’s official twitter account (

About Kamakura Corporation
Founded in 1990, Honolulu-based Kamakura Corporation is a leading provider of risk management information, processing and software. Kamakura was named to the World Finance 100 by the Editor and readers of World Finance magazine in 2012. In 2010, Kamakura was the only vendor to win 2 Credit Magazine innovation awards. Kamakura Risk Manager, first sold commercially in 1993 and now in version 8.1, is the first enterprise risk management system with users focused on credit risk, asset and liability management, market risk, stress testing, liquidity risk, counterparty credit risk, and capital allocation from a single software solution. The KRIS public firm default service was launched in 2002. The KRIS sovereign default service, the world’s first, was launched in 2008, and the KRIS non-public firm default service was offered beginning in 2011. Kamakura added its U.S. Bank default probability service in 2014. Kamakura has served more than 330 clients ranging in size from $1.5 billion to $1.6 trillion in assets. Kamakura’s risk management products are currently used in 43 countries, including the United States, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Austria, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Russia, the Ukraine, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Australia, Japan, China, Korea, India and many other countries in Asia.

Kamakura has world-wide alliances with Fiserv ( and SCSK Corporation ( making Kamakura products available in almost every major city around the globe.

For more information contact
Kamakura Corporation
2222 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 1400, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
Telephone: 1-808-791-9888
Facsimile: 1-808-791-9898
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