Hungary downgraded to 'junk' as PM says wants deal

By REUTERS
January 6, 2012 18:05

 
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BUDAPEST - A rating downgrade on Friday left Hungary's debt rated "junk" across the board, underscoring investors' doubts about the government's willingness to change its controversial policies in return for aid to stave off a financial crisis.

Fitch Ratings said it was downgrading Hungarian sovereign debt by one notch to BB+ with a negative outlook, putting the country's bonds in the higher risk category and suggesting the investment climate was not going to get any better. Fellow credit rating agencies Moody's and Standard & Poor's already rate Hungary below investment grade.

"(This) reflects further deterioration in the country's fiscal and external financing environment and growth outlook, caused in part by further unorthodox economic policies which are undermining investor confidence and complicating the agreement of a new IMF/EU deal," Fitch said in a statement.

Hungary's government said it found the move "surprising".

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