May 8, 2020 / 9:41 PM / 17 days ago

UPDATE 1-DBRS Morningstar downgrades Italy's trend to 'negative', Moody's makes no change

(Adds background, statement on Moody’s)

May 8 (Reuters) - Credit ratings agency DBRS Morningstar cut Italy’s trend to ‘negative’ from ‘stable’ on Friday, blaming considerable uncertainty over the economic repercussions stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The unprecedented economic shock is prompting an extraordinary level of government support to mitigate the adverse economic impact, but this comes at a cost to the government’s financial balance sheet,” DBRS said in a statement.

The agency maintained Italy’s sovereign debt rating at BBB (high).

Moody’s that was set to review ratings on Friday did not make any change, leaving the country’s outlook at ‘stable’ and rating at ‘Baa3’, one notch above junk territory.

Italy has been among the countries hardest hit by COVID-19, registering more than 30,000 deaths, the third highest toll in the world after the United States and Britain. (Reporting by Aditi Sebastian in Bengaluru and Gavin Jones in Rome; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Vinay Dwivedi)

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