ISTANBUL Jan 14 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