RT: S&P cuts credit ratings of two major Italian banks

Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:10PM GMT

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) ratings agency has downgraded its credit ratings on the two biggest Italian banks, UniCredit and Intesa Sanpaolo.

On Friday, S&P issued a statement lowering the ratings of Intesa Sanpaolo, and UniCredit SpA, the parent company of UniCredit, from BBB+ to BBB, Reuters reported.

Italy’s biggest insurance company Generali was also reduced to A- from A, the company said in a statement.

On Tuesday, S&P downgraded of Italy’s sovereign credit rating to BBB from BBB+, with a negative outlook.

Over the past decade, Italy has been the slowest growing economy in the eurozone.

Tough austerity measures, spending cuts, and pension changes are extremely unpopular in Italy.

Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. Insolvency now threatens heavily debt-ridden countries such as Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain.

The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered massive demonstrations in many European countries.

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