S&P cuts Bahrain's credit ratings amid unrest

February 21, 2011 17:56

DUBAI — Standard & Poor's cut the Bahrain government's credit ratings Monday because of concerns that political unrest could roil the small island kingdom for some time to come.

Stock markets across the Middle East took a further hit too, reflecting investors' wariness as anti-government uprisings continue to flare up from Libya to the Persian Gulf.

Credit rating agency S&P said it was lowering the Bahrain government's long and short-term sovereign ratings by one notch to A-/A-2 because of what it called a reappraisal of political risks in the island nation. The firm expects demonstrations calling for political reforms to persist despite last week's crackdown by state security forces.

Also downgraded to similar levels were the country's central bank and its sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat, which owns the money-losing national carrier Gulf Air.

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