After all the news – positive and negative – and the media hype -- good and bad – the 22nd Winter Olympics are finally here and underway in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia.
There's been a lot already written about the cost of these Winter Games – estimated at close to $60 billion, or about 25 percent more than what China reportedly spent on the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing.
In fact, Sochi is expected to be the most expensive Olympics, winter or summer, in history. And a report released Wednesday by Moody's (NYSE:MCO) rates the Sochi Games as Credit Neutral, “given that they are unlikely to give the provide the country with a macroeconomic boost in 2014.”
In its report, Moody's notes that most of the Winter Games' economic benefits, such as boosts to infrastructure and the construction sector, have already been absorbed economically “and were mainly realized at the regional level.”
And while the Beijing Games were seen as a huge advertisement for China's emergence as a world power, Moody's believes whatever benefits Russia might get from hosting these Winter Olympics “have been undercut by the high cost of the event and other bad publicity.”
But the investors service says some economic winners are already coming out of Sochi, most notably the game's multinational corporate sponsors, including Proctor & Gamble (NYSE:PG) and General Electric (NYSE:GE).
Moody's says the Winter Games are Credit Positive for those sponsors, especially for media and telecommunications companies, giving the growing popularity of viewing the Olympics via the internet on computers, smartphones and other devices – all of which, Moody's says, provide those companies with new opportunities to “extend their advertising engagement.”
Some transportation companies are also expected to see a financial boost from the Winter Games, as are food and non-food retailers.
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