MILAN Feb 11 Fitch Ratings confirmed its "BBB"
long-term issuer default rating on Telecom Italia on
Monday, with outlook negative, citing the company's plans to
halve dividends and issue bonds to bolster the company's
"The company's intention to strengthen the balance sheet by
halving shareholder dividends and issuing 3-billion-euro of
hybrid bonds in the next 24 months partly offsets the weaker
than expected domestic performance," Fitch said in a statement.
"Management has shown it is committed to reducing leverage
but Fitch is concerned that Telecom Italia will have fewer debt
reduction options in future to address further deterioration in
the business, whether due to continued regulatory and
competitive pressure or a weaker economy," the agency said.
(Reporting by Antonella Ciancio; editing by Francesca Landini)