MOSCOW, February 6 (RIA Novosti) - Fitch Ratings has revised the outlooks on the Netherlands’ ratings to negative from stable, and has affirmed the long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at 'AAA', the agency reported Tuesday.
Fitch also affirmed the Netherlands' Country Ceiling at 'AAA' and short-term foreign currency IDR at 'F1+'.
“The Outlook revision to Negative from Stable reflects Fitch's view that the leveraged Dutch economy has suffered a number of shocks,” Fitch said in a press release.
As “house prices are declining at a rapid pace and the housing market correction is sharper than what the agency previously expected,” the agency concluded that the situation “will continue to weigh heavily on household consumption and consumer confidence.”
“Secondly, as highlighted by last week's nationalization of SNS Bank N.V., some banking system problems persist, with three of the four major banks having faced severe financial difficulties and needing external support since 2008,” Fitch said.
The agency also said the level of public debt, which is expected to peak at 77 percent of GDP, is higher than most 'AAA' peers, which “reduces fiscal policy options.”
Fitch affirmed the country’s 'AAA' sovereign rating due to the Netherlands’ “flexible, diversified, high-value-added and competitive economy as well as its current account surpluses and positive net international investment position.”
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.