Nov 25, 2011 9:42 PM GMT
Portugal’s credit rating was cut to below investment grade by Fitch Ratings due to the country’s rising debt level and weakening economy.
The long-term rating was lowered one level to BB+ from BBB- with a negative outlook, Fitch said today in an e-mailed statement. Portuguese 10-year bonds fell after the announcement, with the yield at 12.14 percent at 1:09 p.m. in Lisbon.
“The country’s large fiscal imbalances, high indebtedness across all sectors, and adverse macroeconomic outlook mean the sovereign’s credit profile is no longer consistent with an investment-grade rating,” Fitch said. The ratings of utility EDP-Energias de Portugal SA (EDP) and telecommunications company Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (PTC) are unaffected, Fitch said.
Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho is cutting spending and raising taxes to meet the terms of a 78 billion-euro ($104 billion) aid plan from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. As the country’s borrowing costs surged, Portugal followed Greece and Ireland in April in seeking a bailout and now aims to return to bond markets in 2013.