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Capital Markets

Uruguay wants return of investment-grade rating

Finance minister claims country deserves status; Ratings agencies say Uruguay vulnerable to external shocks

Fernando Lorenzo, Uruguay’s economy minister

"Uruguay is being rated in a way that does not respond to the reality of the economic framework and the quality of our policies"

Fernando Lorenzo, Uruguay

Fernando Lorenzo, Uruguay’s economy minister, has accused the rating agencies of failing to recognize the increasing strength of his country’s economy and therefore denying it investment-grade status. Speaking exclusively to Euromoney he expressed his frustration at what he sees as the agencies’ overly cautious rating increases. Moody’s rates Uruguay one notch below investment grade, and Standard & Poor’s and Fitch both have the sovereign two notches below. "Uruguay is being rated in a way that does not respond to the reality of the economic framework and the quality of our policies," says Lorenzo, pointing out that CDS spreads are comparable to investment-grade Latin American countries. "Clearly there is a difference between how the rating agencies view the country and how the market is viewing us today," he says.

Steady recovery

Uruguay lost its investment-grade rating in 2002 after the financial crisis in Argentina spilled over into its neighbour.

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