UPDATE 1-S&P to offer only basic rating on Turkey

ISTANBUL Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:53am EST

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ISTANBUL Jan 14 (Reuters) - Credit-rating agency Standard & Poor's said on Monday that it no longer has a ratings deal with Turkey but it will still offer an overall assessment of the fast-growing economy to meet investor interest.

The agency said it had converted its ratings on Turkey to "unsolicited" -- meaning that it is not paid by the country to provide cover but does so anyway.

More broadly, it also said that as of Feb. 14 it was withdrawing all its ratings on individual Turkish debt. It will only be rating the sovereign's overall credit-worthiness.

Turkey responded angrily last year to a downward revision of Turkey's outlook by S&P.

S&P cut the outlook on Turkey's 'BB' sovereign credit rating to stable from positive last May and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan responded by warning Ankara may no longer "recognise" the agency, calling its decision "ideological".

"We are converting our issuer credit ratings on Turkey to "unsolicited" as we no longer have a rating agreement with this sovereign," S&P said in a statement.

"We will nonetheless continue to rate Turkey on an unsolicited basis because we believe that we have access to sufficient public information of reliable quality to support our analysis .... and because we believe there is significant market interest in this unsolicited rating."

S&P rates Turkey at BB, two rungs below investment grade. Fitch has raised it to investment grade at BBB- and Moody's just below investment grade at Ba1.

S&P says that less than 10 percent of its sovereign ratings are "unsolicited", but these include the United States and Britain.

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