S&P cuts Ukraine rating again, warns risk of default

SYDNEY Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:59am EST

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SYDNEY Feb 21 (Reuters) - Standard & Poor's on Friday cut Ukraine's sovereign rating for the second time in three weeks, saying the political situation in the country has deteriorated substantially and seeing an increased risk of default.

S&P lowered its long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating on Ukraine by one notch to 'CCC' and gave it a negative outlook, reflecting the view that Ukraine has yet to secure funding to avoid default.

"The downgrade reflects our view that the political situation in Ukraine has deteriorated substantially. We believe that this raises uncertainty regarding the continued provision of Russian financial support over the course of 2014, and puts the government's capability to meet debt service at increasing risk," the ratings agency said in a statement.

"We consider that the future of the current Ukrainian leadership is now more uncertain than at any time since the protests began in November 2013."

S&P said the negative outlook meant that there is at least a one-in-three chance that it could lower Ukraine's ratings over the next 12 months.

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