Ireland's banks were hit with downgrades Friday — one to junk bond status — as speculation mounted that an EU-IMF bailout of Ireland could require senior bondholders to help cover the massive losses.
Prime Minister Brian Cowen saw his own hold on power slip another notch, as his ruling Fianna Fail party lost a special election for a long-empty seat in parliament. The winner vowed to force Cowen from office before he can pass an emergency 2011 budget being demanded as part of the international rescue.
The New York-based Standard & Poor's credit ratings agency said it was lowering Anglo Irish Bank six notches to a junk-bond B grade. It also cut the ratings on Bank of Ireland one notch to BBB+, and downgraded both Allied Irish Banks and Irish Life & Permanent one notch to BBB.
The agency said bonds issued by Anglo are particularly at risk of being discounted as part of an euro85 billion ($113 billion) rescue mission by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. It says Ireland "may be forced to reconsider its current supportive stance toward Anglo's unguaranteed debt."
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Irish banks get downgraded as bailout fears grow - Yahoo! News