Italy: Standard And Poor’s Downgrades 15 Of Italy’s Largest Banks, Prime Minister Warns Of Eurozone Breakup
The credit ratings agency said today that Italy’s recession could potentially be deeper and more prolonged than previously thought.
It said problem assets are mounting and that many banks have reduced provisions for loan losses, making them more vulnerable.
The ratings of UniCredit SpA and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA were confirmed by S&P. Banca Carige SpA, Banca Popolare dell’Alto Adige and Unione di Banche Italiane, among others, also saw their ratings reduced.
S&P lowered its rating on 34 banks in February, citing the country’s financial vulnerability and expectations of lower earnings.
The move came as Italian prime minister Mario Monti gave an interview claiming that the nation needs moral support from Germany, but not its cash.
Mr Monti told German magazine Der Spiegel he was concerned about growing anti-euro, anti-German and anti-European Union sentiment in the parliament in Rome.” Read more.
Italian PM Warns Of Euro Breakup – “The big news this morning is coming from an interview Italy’s Mario Monti gave to German magazine Der Spiegel, in which he warned that growing Italian resentment against Germany risks the break up of not just the eurozone but the European Union itself. He said the eurozone tensions ‘bear the traits of a psychological dissolution of Europe,’ adding that Europe ‘must work hard to contain it.’ Asked about a strengthening in resentment between the allegedly profligate southern European nations and the bloc’s thrifty northern members, Monti told Der Spiegel ‘it is very alarming, and we have to fight against it.’” Read more.