Energy firms face liquidity pressure: Moody’s

U.S. ratings agency Moody's has warned oil, gas and mining companies are finding it harder to raise short-term liquid funds, potentially putting other sectors of the European economy at risk.

The share of junk-rated European companies facing liquidity pressures has increased to 23 percent in March 2016 according to Moody's EMEA Liquidity Stress Index, published this week -- more than twice than a year ago, when only 11 percent of companies were feeling the squeeze when it came to cash.

Stress levels could be pushed higher this year if high yield, high-risk companies find it increasingly harder to raise money by selling bonds.

Tobias Wagner, vice president and senior analyst at Moody's, warned in a press release that if this continues, liquidity concerns could spread to companies in other sectors of the economy.

However, Alessandro Roccati, senior vice president at Moody's, alleviated some fear by explaining that European bankers were sheltered from the liquidity issues.

"The oil and gas exposure of large European banks is moderate," he told CNBC's Squawk Box. "The provisions in 2015 were modest. This might increase in 2016, but overall these are not a key rating driver for us."

According to Roccati, companies in the oil and gas sector make up just 3 percent of the loan book of European banks. Although he did highlight that the banks BNP, ING and HSBC had large nominal exposure to the energy sector.

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