Bulgaria Debt Cheaper to Insure than Higher-Rated Spain
Major rating agencies once again came under fire on Monday after it emerged that the debt of Spain, whose credit status is Aa2, is more expensive to insure than Baa2-rated Bulgaria.
The cost of insuring Spanish debt against default rose to 390, compared with 329 for Bulgaria, according to comparative market analysis prices, released on Monday, as cited by Bloomberg agency.
"The rating agencies have got their head in the sand," Harvinder Sian, a strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in London told Bloomberg.
"Any country where you need the central bank in there supporting the bond market, and a AA rating, suggests something is very badly wrong with the ratings process."
Moody's Investors Service rates Spain two levels below AAA as does Standard & Poor's at AA. Fitch has Spain at AA+, one from the top, even after the European Central Bank stepped in to buy its bonds to bring yields down from euro-era records.
While Spain is ranked the same as Slovenia by Moody's and S&P, costs to insure its debt against default are twice as much.
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