Moody’s places negative outlook on UK, Austria, France

14 February 2012 11:01  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Moodys Investors Service has placed Austria, France and the UK on “negative” outlook to reflect Europes increasingly weak macroeconomic prospects, the ratings agency said late on Monday.

The negative outlook implies there is a greater chance of a credit rating downgrade in the next 18 months.

“The negative outlooks reflect the presence of a number of specific credit pressures that would exacerbate the susceptibility of these sovereigns balance sheets, and of their ongoing austerity programmes, to any further deterioration in European economic conditions and financial landscape,” Moody’s said.

Moodys also downgraded the credit ratings of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Slovenia and Slovakia to reflect their susceptibility to the growing financial risks caused by the eurozone debt crisis.

The sharpest downgrade was given to Spain, which had its rating lowered two notches from “A1” to "A3".

The agency said the impact of factors, including the uncertainty over the eurozones prospects for institutional reform and Europes weak growth, continue to weigh on an already fragile market confidence.

Read Paul Hodges’ Chemicals and the Economy blog

By: Franco Capaldo
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