NEW YORK (Standard & Poor’s) April 23, 2012–Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services revised its outlook on the Republic of Argentina to negative from stable. In addition, we affirmed our ‘B’ unsolicited long- and short-term ratings and our ‘raAA’ national scale rating on Argentina. At the same time, we affirmed our ‘B’ transfer and convertibility assessment on Argentina.
“The negative outlook revision stems from policies enacted since the October 2011 presidential elections that we believe could over time increase the risk of a deterioration in the country’s macroeconomic framework, put pressure on its external liquidity, and weaken Argentina’s medium-term growth prospects,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Roberto Sifon-arevalo. These include rising restrictions to international trade and recent steps to nationalize the hydrocarbon company Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscale (YPF).
The negative outlook indicates at least a one-in-three chance of a downgrade this year or next. A worsening external position, mostly likely from financial outflows (perhaps combined with weakening terms of trade) or additional policy actions that further diminish Argentina’s growth prospects could lead to a downgrade. On the other hand, actions that restore investor confidence on medium-term prospects for the economy (on the monetary or structural front), and thus reduce uncertainty over its external liquidity position, could lead us to change the outlook back to stable.