(Refiles to fix typo in first para)
BEIJING, March 9 A Chinese ratings agency cut
its sovereign credit rating for Portugal by one notch to
BBB-plus on Wednesday, saying that sluggish economic growth and
an uncertain outlook for fiscal reforms had clouded its outlook.
Dagong Global Credit Rating, China's biggest home-grown
ratings agency, said in a statement that the European sovereign
debt crisis could take a turn for the worse in 2011 and warned
that Portugal's economy might shrink this year.
Its rating for Portugal is now lower than those of
high-profile international agencies such as Standard and Poor's
Late last year, a Portuguese newspaper reported that China
was ready to buy 4-5 billion euros of Portuguese sovereign debt
to help the country ward off pressures in bond markets.
Dagong is an independent ratings agency and does not
necessarily represent the Chinese government's view of credit
"It will be more difficult than expected for Portugal to
make structural reforms and to improve its current account
deficits," Dagong said in a statement.
"The country will also see bigger pressure on liquidity and
asset quality in its banking system," it said.
Dagong, which has been rating Chinese corporate bonds since
1994, created a splash by assigning the United States a double-A
grade last year, below the AA-plus given to China.
(Reporting by Aileen Wang and Simon Rabinovitch; Editing by