S&P says Italy prosecutors' allegations "baseless"

MILAN Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:54am EST

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MILAN (Reuters) - Ratings agency Standard & Poor's on Monday rejected as "entirely baseless" the allegations by Italian prosecutors over their downgrades of Italy.

Prosecutors in the southern town of Trani on Monday asked for five officials at S&P and two from rival agency Fitch to stand trial for market-rigging and market-manipulation over their ratings cuts of Italy.

"These claims are entirely baseless and without any merit as our role is to publish independent opinions about creditworthiness according to our public and transparent methodologies, which we apply consistently around the world," the agency said in an emailed statement.

"We will continue to perform our role without fear or favor of any investor, debt issuer or other external party and to defend our actions, our reputation and that of our people," S&P said. (Reporting by Antonella Ciancio, editing by Lisa Jucca)

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