Asahi receives AA issuer rating
Analysts from the Tokyo-based Rating and Investment Information Inc. maintained their AA issuer rating for Asahi Glass Co. of Japan, according to a July 31 article in The Nikkei Weekly.
R&I listed the glassmaker’s outlook as “stable,” and attributed the high rating to Asahi’s broad product range and high market share, according to the article written by R&I Analyst Toshifumi Nagasaki.
However, Nagasaki wrote in the article, “to ensure stable earnings, it will be vital for Asahi to improve its money-losing operations, including North American production of construction-and automobile-use glass, as well as explore new, profitable business areas.”
Asahi’s North American operations include AFG Industries of Kingsport, Tenn., and several AGC Automotive locations.
Nagasaki also noted the current difficult environment for glass producers, because of rising fuel prices. “Under the circumstance, Asahi has come up with a price-hike policy for its construction-use sheet glass to pass a recent surge in its costs of fuel, including heavy oil, on to customers. How successfully the company can implement the policy deserves a close watch,” he wrote in the article.