Italy raids Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s

Silvio Berlusconi

Business digest: Raid is part of ongoing investigation into credit rating agencies’ role in debt crisis

LAST UPDATED AT 14:43 ON Fri 5 Aug 2011

The Milan offices of credit rating agencies Moody's and Standard and Poor's were raided by Italian police on Wednesday as part of an investigation into their role in the ongoing financial crisis, on the same day that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (above) was addressing Parliament on the issue.

The chief prosecutor of Trani, an Italian port, told Reuters that they were checking whether the agencies "respect regulations as they carry out their work".

Moody's said it takes "its responsibilities surrounding the dissemination of market-sensitive information very seriously".

S&P responded that the investigation had "no foundation". They added: "We shall strenuously defend our work, our reputation and that of our analysts."

Following warnings from the credit rating agencies, market confidence in Italy's ability to pay back its debts has fallen dramatically, causing share values to drop and the yield on the government's 10-year bonds to rise. Italy has the second highest level of debt in relation to its GDP in the eurozone after Greece.

Read a full report at the Guardian. · 

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