S&P warns 6 euro zone nations of possible downgrade: report

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 05, 2011 2:49 PM
S&P warns 6 euro zone nations of possible downgrade: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Standard & Poor's has warned Germany, France and four other top-rated euro zone countries that they risk losing their AAA rating in the next 90 days as the region's debt crisis deepens, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

S&P is poised to announce later on Monday that the ratings of those six countries -- which include the Netherlands, Austria, Finland and Luxembourg -- are in credit watch negative, the FT said in an unsourced story published on its website.

A credit-watch negative means the agency is in the process of reviewing its ratings on those countries and is expected to decide whether to downgrade them in no more than three months.

The FT said, however, that S&P told the six governments it would conclude its review "as soon as possible" after a crucial summit of euro zone leaders later this week.

"(I)t is our opinion that the lack of progress the European policymakers have so far made in controlling the spread of the financial crisis may reflect structural weaknesses in the decision-making process within the euro zone and European Union," S&P told the governments of the six countries, according to the FT.

A spokesperson for S&P could not be immediately reached for comment.

(Writing by Walter Brandimarte; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and James Dalgleish)