(Adds S&P's rating decision)
By Dion Rabouin
NEW YORK Oct 3 Colombian voters' rejection of a
peace deal between the government and Marxist FARC rebels is
"negative" for the country's credit profile, analysts at ratings
agency Moody's said on Monday.
Moody's had assigned Colombia a Baa2 credit rating with a
stable outlook prior to the rejection of the plebiscite on
Sunday by a razor-thin margin of less than half a percentage
The agency said the result will likely "undermine the
government's ability to pass other reforms."
Earlier, rival credit ratings agency Fitch said the vote
would not impact its Colombia rating. Fitch has assigned the
country a BBB rating and negative outlook.
Ratings analysts at Standard & Poor's said they would not
make any immediate change to their current rating for Colombia,
but added that the referendum result combined with the current
economic slowdown could complicate the government's fiscal
adjustment strategy, seen as key to boosting the nation's credit
S&P has given Colombia a BBB rating with a negative outlook.
A note from JPMorgan on Monday suggested market participants
could already be pricing in the possibility of a future ratings
downgrade for Colombia.
"We and the market had anticipated that a 'yes' win would
give (Colombian President Juan Manuel) Santos a necessary boost
in order to pursue an unpopular tax reform by year end; the
prospects for the reform now look uncertain at best, and may
also depend on Uribista support," the note said, referring to
supporters of Colombia's former president, Alvaro Uribe.
Uribe, who leads the main opposition party, had campaigned
for a "no" vote in Sunday's referendum, arguing that the deal
the government signed with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia was flawed.
"It will be prudent to see how the dust settles, but the
market will likely price in the risk of a downgrade to
Colombia's BBB rating."
(Reporting by Dion Rabouin; Editing by Paul Simao)