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S&P drops credit ratings for nine eurozone countries

Published by Steve Coleman on January 13, 2012

It will be a Friday the 13th to forget for several European countries.

Standard & Poor's has downgraded its credit ratings for nine of the 16 eurozone countries, hitting Cyprus, Italy, Portugal and Spain the hardest with a two rating-point drop.

As a result of the review, France lost its coveted, top-ranked AAA credit rating.

"We have lowered the long-term ratings on Cyprus, Italy, Portugal, and Spain by two notches; lowered the long-term ratings on Austria, France, Malta, Slovakia, and Slovenia, by one notch; and affirmed the long-term ratings on Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands," the company said in its release. "All ratings have been removed from CreditWatch, where they were placed with negative implications on Dec. 5, 2011 (except for Cyprus, which was first placed on CreditWatch on Aug. 12, 2011)."

S&P said Friday it was planning a conference call for Jan. 14 to discuss the reasons behind the readjustments.

Neither Moody's nor Fitch have adjusted their European credit ratings.

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