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Business

S&P agency cuts Dutch credit rating, upgrades outlook for Spain

The Netherlands has lost its sterling triple-A credit rating. The US ratings agency Standard & Poors downgraded the country citing weaker growth. By contrast, it says Spain’s creditworthiness has improved.

The Netherlands credit rating had been cut to AA+ from its previous triple-A rating, Standard & Poors (S&P) ratings agency announced Friday as it further reduced the number of eurozone states enjoying premium creditworthiness from four to three.

The remaining eurozone nations with triple A ratings are Germany, Luxembourg and Finland.

The downgrade reflected opinions within S&P that the Netherlands' growth prospects were weaker than previously anticipated, the agency said in a statement.

“The real GDP per capita trend growth rate is persistently lower than that of peers in similarly high levels of economic development,” S&P added.

The two other main ratings agencies, Moody's and Fitch, still rate Dutch debt as triple-A.

Spanish outlook better

Also On Friday, Standard & Poors lifted its outlook on Spanish debt, rewarding the debt-laden eurozone country for its efforts to reorder its finances.

“Credit metrics are stabilizing due to budgetary and structural reforms, coupled with supportive eurozone policies,” the agency said in a statement.

As Spain's external position was improving on the back of a resumption of economic growth, its long-term credit outlook had been lifted from negative to stable, S&P added. However, the country's debt rating would remain BBB-, which is the lowest investment grade in financial markets.

uhe/ipj (Reuters, AFP)