Moody's: Spain three notches down, Cyprus two

Reuters / Philippe Wojazer
Rating agency Moody's has cut its rating on Spanish government debt by three notches from A3 to Baa3. Cyprus’s sovereign debt was lowered by two notches from Ba1 to Ba3.

The agency said Wednesday that Spain’s debt burden would increase once the EU has approved a plan to help the country's banks. It has Spain under further review and could lower its rating even further, Reuters reports. Moody’s points out that the Spanish government has "very limited" access to international debt markets and notes the general weakness of the country's economy.

For Cyprus, Moody’s is citing the increased risks of a Greek exit from the eurozone and its generally unstable fiscal position, while Cyprus has close cultural, business and political links with this country. Just like Spain, Cyprus was also put on review for further downgrade. Its weak credit position is jeopardized by limited access to international markets, Moody's said in a statement.

Spain is the eurozone's fourth biggest economy, while Cyprus is the third smallest.

Moody’s is currently in a process of a wider review of European banking systems. It has recently cut credit ratings of banks in Italy, Spain, Portugal and the Nordic region. The remaining reviews of other European banking systems are expected to be concluded by the end of June.