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Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:29AM
Moody’s Investors Service, the International credit rating agency

Moody’s Investors Service, the International credit rating agency

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the credit ratings of five Dutch banks including ING and ABN AMRO following the debt crisis in the eurozone. The international credit rating agency on Friday slashed the long term ratings of ING, Rabobank, ABN, LeasePlan and KBC by two notches and SNS bank was cut by one notch. "Dutch banks will face difficult operating conditions throughout 2012 and possibly beyond," Moody’s said in a statement. The cuts come amid Europe’s rising debt crisis and following fresh fears about debt-stricken Spain, Italy and Cyprus. The Netherlands "is affected by the ongoing euro area debt crisis and regional economic weakness," Moody's statement also read. Moody's also warned that Greece’s Sunday election could undermine the bloc’s economic confidence. And that if the country’s anti-bailout party wins the election, the single currency area will face more cuts in banking sectors. "If a Greek exit became Moody's central scenario, further rating actions on European banks could well be needed," the statement added. The Greeks will head to second election on Sunday, after May 6 votes failed to give any party enough seats in parliament to form a government. The recent opinion polls showed that Greece’s leftist Syriza party will do well in the elections. The party leader Alexis Tsipras said if he elected he would scrap the bailout deal imposed by the European neighbors in exchange for endorsement of the second financial bailout. SAB/JR
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