Fitch affirms Italy's rating at 'BBB' with negative outlook

FILE PHOTO - An Italian flag waves behind a statue near Ponte Sant'Angelo in Rome, Italy, November 28, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

(Reuters) - Global rating agency Fitch affirmed Italy’s sovereign credit rating at ‘BBB’ and outlook at negative on Friday, citing high level of general government debt, very low trend GDP growth and economic policy uncertainty.

"The high degree of political fragmentation makes it very difficult for the Italian government to develop a credible growth and fiscal strategy to reduce the stock of public debt," the agency said in a statement here .

Fitch also said the relatively high net external debt and improving, but still weak, banking sector asset quality, also weigh on Italy’s rating.

Reporting by Devbrat Saha and Gavin Jones