June 29, 2015 / 7:00 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-S&P lowers Greece sovereign credit rating

(Adds details from S&P’s statement)

June 29 (Reuters) - Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services lowered its sovereign rating on Greece to ‘CCC minus’ from ‘CCC’, saying the probability of Greece exiting the eurozone was now about 50 percent.

Greece’s bailout talks with lenders collapsed over the weekend, intensifying fears that the country could soon exit the euro zone.

A Greek official told Reuters on Monday the country would not pay a 1.6 billon euro loan installment due the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday.

S&P said according to its assessment Greece would likely default on its commercial debt during the next six months.

Should Greece exit the euro zone, there will be a serious foreign currency shortage for the private and public sectors in the country, which may lead to rationing of key imports, according to the rating services.

S&P’s outlook on the country is negative.

The agency said it could lower its long-term ratings on the country within the next six months in case of a distressed exchange or nonpayment of commercial debt. (Reporting by Kanika Sikka in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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