Moody’s retains Austria at ‘Aaa’, warns of regional challenges
Rating agency Moody’s kept Austria on a ‘Aaa’ rating today, but warned that the continued crisis in the eurozone meant that despite a ‘stable’ outlook for Austrian debt, its overall future rating would depend very much on a successful outcome for the entire region.
Moody’s warning follows similar ones from its competitors Standard & Poor’s and Fitch. Earlier this month they warned that ratings on debt owed by eurozone constituents could be downgraded if the crisis continued.
The sensitivity to any downgrades was proven recently by suggestions from French government ministers that ratings agencies should instead look to downgrade the debt of the UK, which is outside the eurozone.
Austria has other problems particular to its location. Its banks have heavy exposure to non-EU economies in Eastern Europe. And neighbouring Hungary is facing its own economic crisis, despite not being in the eurozone.
Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, France and Germany are other eurozone members Aaa rated by Moody’s.