Egan-Jones cuts UK sovereign rating to AA-minus

NEW YORK Mon Jun 4, 2012 9:30pm BST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rating agency Egan-Jones cut the credit rating for the United Kingdom on Monday to AA-minus with a negative outlook from AA, the latest in a string of European sovereign downgrades from the agency.

"The over-riding concern is whether the country will be able to continue to cut its deficit in the face of weaker economic conditions and a possible deterioration in the country's financial sector," Egan-Jones said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, we expect that the UK's debt/GDP (ratio) will continue to rise and the country will remain pressed."

The United Kingdom currently has a AAA rating from both Standard and Poor's and Fitch Ratings and an Aaa rating from Moody's Investors Service.

The economy contracted by 0.3 percent between January and March and growth in the second quarter is endangered by the mounting worries about the survival of the euro.

Egan-Jones has recently cut the sovereign ratings for Italy and for Spain, in each case citing the weak economy and banking sectors.

(Reporting by Luciana Lopez; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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