If you want evidence of Toyota Motor Corp.'s financial muscle, look no further than a recent announcement by Moody's Investors Service in New York.
Moody's said it will review its rating for the Japanese goverment's domestic bonds 'for possible downgrade.' But Moody's was quick to add that any action regarding the government's bonds would not affect the Aa1 rating for Toyota and four other Japanese companies. Toyota has Moody's second-highest rating, one notch below AAA.
In other words, Moody's was saying Toyota bonds could be considered a better risk than those issued by the government of Japan. The rating agency explained that a company's bond rating can surpass that of the government of its home country if there is 'no automatic relationship' between the two. If Moody's determines that Toyota's bonds would not be affected by rescheduling of the governemnt's debt, the ratings relect that.
The rating only applies to domestic bonds issued in yen. At press time, Moody's had not downgraded the Japanese governement's rating. A Moody's spokesman said the Japanese government's rating remains 'on watch.'