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TheStreet Open House

2011 Bond Ratings: Upgrades, Downgrades

Portugal

Rating Action: Second Downgrade in Less Than a Month

Rating Date: Apr. 5

Moody's downgraded Portugal's long-term government bond ratings by one notch to Baa1 from A3 and placed the rating on review for possible downgrade.

"Moody's rating action was driven primarily by increased political, budgetary and economic uncertainty, which increase the risk that the government will be unable to achieve the ambitious deficit reduction targets set out in the update of its Stability and Growth Program for 2011 to 2014 and put its finances on a sustainable trajectory," the rating firm said.

Moody's said the limited downgrade reflects the notion that Portugal's eurozone partners would provide financial assistance if the country needed emergency financing before being able to tap into the European Financial Stability Facility, the eurozone's bailout fund. "Moody's believes the new government will likely approach the facility as a matter of urgency."

In late March, the Portuguese minority government collapsed after legislators rejected a key austerity package proposal.

On March 15, Moody's downgraded the Portuguese government's long-term debt rating by two notches to A3 and assigned a negative outlook.

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