Fitch downgrades Libya's credit rating

Feb 23, 2011

Fitch Rating Agency has downgraded Libya's credit rating from BBB + to BBB.

Charles Seville, Representative for Fitch, explained the downgrade reflects the eruption of political risk in the country as protesters try to bring an end to the 42-year rule of Moammar Gadhafi".

Fitch also warned that another downward revision may be possible in the next three months if violence escalates, with Mr Seville adding the chance of such a move would increase "if the disruption extends to Libya's oil production".

The BBB credit rating puts Libya in the category of "obligors with average capacity but able to meet their financial commitments".

Standard & Poor's followed Fitch a few hours later on Tuesday (February 22nd) and lowered the long-term sovereign credit rating for Libya by one notch, from A- to BBB+.

Violence during protests in the country against the power of Moammar Gadhafi have left 233 people dead since February 17th, with 60 deaths on Sunday alone in the town of Benghazi, according to a report from the NGO Human Rights Watch.