SVM urges investors to assess debt risk


Investors urgently need to learn how to assess debt risks, while companies themselves must offer clearer disclosure, according to SVM Asset Management's Colin McLean.

McLean, the firm's managing director, explained how, in a bull market, few question debt as gearing boosts growth. However, high borrowing is now punishing companies as the economy slows, and he cited a number of sectors that have been hardest hit He said: "The credit bubble has not just impacted banks; companies in many other sectors have restructured and releveraged. Some businesses in sectors such as food, drink and housebuilders that might have been considered resilient in past economic cycles, now face a downturn in demand with a far riskier capital structure." McClean explained t...

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