S&P lowers British rating to negative

S&P lowers British rating to negative

LONDON / PARIS - Agence France - Presse
Standard and Poor’s cut the outlook on Britain’s AAA credit rating from stable to negative on Dec. 13 raised the possibility that it could downgrade the rating in the next two years.

“The negative outlook reflects our view of a one-in-three chance that we could lower the ratings in the next two years if the U.K.’s economic and fiscal performances weaken beyond our current expectations,” S&P said in a statement.

They followed the other two main ratings agencies in putting Britain’s credit rating on a negative outlook. “We now expect the United Kingdom’s net general government debt as a percentage of GDP to continue to rise in 2015, before declining again,” S&P said.

“Future employment or growth shocks could pressure government finances further. We are therefore revising our outlook on the unsolicited long-term ratings on the UK to negative, from stable,” the statement said. “We are affirming our ‘AAA/A-1+’ long- and short-term unsolicited sovereign credit ratings on the U.K.,” it added.

Fellow rating agency Moody’s changed its outlook on Britain’s AAA rating to negative in February when it downgraded the ratings and outlooks of several eurozone countries.

France’s rating same

Meanwhile, the Fitch ratings agency said Dec. 14 that it was keeping France’s top AAA credit rating, the only one of the three major ratings agencies to do so, but added that its outlook remained negative.
“The affirmation of France’s ‘AAA’ status is underpinned by its wealthy and diversified economy, stable political, civil and social institutions and its exceptional financing flexibility reflecting its status as a large benchmark eurozone sovereign issuer,” it said in a statement.