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Italy Minister Knows Nothing About Possible Downgrade

Thursday, 28 Mar 2013 | 6:32 AM ET
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Alessia Pierdomenico | Bloomberg | Getty Images
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Italian Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli said on Thursday he had no knowledge of any imminent decision by Moody's to cut Italy's sovereign debt rating.

Fitch cut Italy's rating this month and market rumours have been swirling for days that fellow agency Moody's, which has a negative outlook on Italy, is poised to follow suit.

"I have no news about that," Grilli told reporters in parliament.

Moody's rates Italy Baa2, two notches above "junk" grade. Grilli said he hoped that moves by the government to start to pay back state sector debts to private firms would improve judgments on Italy even though they will increase the budget deficit and debt.

Bart Oosterveld, managing director of sovereign risk at Moody's, told Reuters on Wednesday that the outcome of Italy's attempts to form a government following last month's inconclusive election would have implications for its credit profile.

Contact Europe: Economy

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