Lebanon now rated as low as Venezuela after Moody’s rating cut to lowest grade

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Lebanon had its rating cut to the lowest grade by Moody’s Investors Service, which said that bond investors will likely suffer major losses on their holdings as the government struggles to secure aid to ease a crippling financial crisis.

Moody’s lowered Lebanon’s credit score to C from Ca, the same level as crisis-ravaged Venezuela. It reflects Moody’s “assessment that the losses incurred by bondholders through Lebanon’s current default are likely to exceed 65 percent,” the agency said in a statement.

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Lebanon, which has already defaulted on billions of dollars in debt this year, is struggling to secure an International Monetary Fund loan deal amid sharp domestic divisions over how to tally losses in the financial system.

“The collapse of the currency in the parallel market and the concomitant surge in inflation fuel a highly unstable environment,” Moody’s said. “In the absence of key steps toward plausible economic and fiscal policy reform, official external funding support to accompany a government debt restructuring is not forthcoming.”

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