Standard Poor's has downgraded the rating of the Cook Islands, citing a lack of positive information.
It now rates the Cook Islands at B+, four steps below investment-grade territory.
Standard Poor's has established new criteria for rating sovereign governments with limited external data.
The Wall Street Journal quotes an analyst as saying the Cooks' external position is based on an assessment of a weak external score for New Zealand, whose currency the Cook Islands uses.
The outlook on both its domestic and foreign currency ratings is stable.