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Korean companies hit by rating downgrades

This prompts firms to boost sales of riskier hybrid securities to improve balance sheets

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MORE PAIN AHEAD: Downgrades will likely continue in the first half of 2016 as the won's strength against the yen and an economic slowdown hurt Korean companies.

Seoul

SOUTH Korea's debt rating downgrades are exceeding upgrades by the most since 1998, prompting companies to boost sales of riskier hybrid securities to improve their balance sheets.

The credit scores of 45 local borrowers were cut in the first nine months while only 10