Sabato, 20 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Moody's probe wraps as ratings agency downgrades Italy

English
© ANSA

(ANSA) - Rome, July 13 - Italian prosecutors closed a probe
Friday into Moody's on the same day the New York-based ratings
agency downgraded the entire country to two notches above junk
status.
The investigation, launched by prosecutors in the southern
town of Trani, accuses Moody's of "spreading false, unfounded
and imprudent judgements" on Italy's financial, economic and
banking system, and "manipulating the market".
The news of a Moody's downgrade Friday came just hours
before Italy, the eurozone's third largest economy, was due to
go to the financial markets to raise some 5.25 billion euros in
an auction of medium and long-term government bonds.
Responding to complaints from consumer associations Adusbef
and Federconsumatori, the same office has opened probes into the
two other major New York ratings agencies, Fitch and Standard &
Poor's.
"Adusbef and Federconsumatori recalls the damages caused by
the three ratings-agency sisters," said the groups in a
statement, calculating damages to the Italian economy of 120
billion euros due to the downgrades.
Financial police in January searched the Milan offices of
Fitch six days after S&P downgraded Italy along with eight other
countries including France and Spain.
The Trani probe into suspected market manipulation
began last year and gathered pace after the S&P downgrade and
Fitch's threat to follow suit.
The pan-European markets regulator last week opened an
investigation into whether the three big US ratings agencies are
sufficiently "rigorous and transparent" in the way they evaluate
banks.
The two-year-old European Securities and Markets Authority
(EMSA) was alarmed by the rating agencies' mass downgrade of 15
banks last month, and expects to finish the probe by the end of
the year.

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