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S&P places EU, big European banks on negative watch

12-08-2011 08:50 BJT

NEW YORK, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Wednesday put its ratings on the European Union (EU) and some big banks on negative credit watch, warning possible downgrades within next 90 days if European leaders failed to find a radical solution to the region's deteriorating debt crisis.

The move, which came after the rating agency put the credit ratings of 15 euro zone nations on watch, was "an expression of its concerns about the potential impact on the future debt service capacity of eurozone sovereigns", as Eurozone members account for 62 percent of the EU's total 2011 budgeted revenues, said the S&P.

The decision will be made "as soon as possible" after the upcoming European summit, according to the agency.

The agency also said it will lower the long-term issuer credit rating on the EU by one notch if it decided to lower the current ' AAA' ratings on one or more member states, especially largest nations like France and Germany.

As for the specific nations, the ratings on Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg could be lowered by up to one notch, if at all, and those on Estonia, France, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, and Spain by up to two notches.

At the same time, the rating agency also put its ratings on some of the largest rated banking groups in the eurozone, including BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and UniCredit, on negative watch while warned similar rating actions on other large banks will follow soon.

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Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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