11 Jan 2012

Italy credit rating warning issued

1:33 pm on 11 January 2012

An executive at ratings agency Fitch has said there was a significant chance that Italy would have its credit rating downgraded this month.

David Riley, Fitch's head of global sovereign ratings, cited the lack of a plan to halt the eurozone crisis, coupled with Italy's high debts.

Italy currently holds an A+ rating but last month Fitch placed it on "credit watch negative" which means it could face a downgrade within three months, the BBC reports.

The warning also applied to five other eurozone countries - Spain, Belgium, the Irish Republic, Slovenia and Cyprus.

In December, the agency revised its outlook on France to negative from stable, meaning a downgrade is possible in 12-18 months.

Another Fitch spokesman said he did not foresee a downgrade of France in 2012.