S&P lowers ratings on six Canadian financial institutions

Bond-rating agency Standard & Poor’s has downgraded six of Canada’s financial institutions, amid a softening economy and persistent low interest rates.

S&P said Thursday it was downgrading Bank of Nova Scotia, the country’s third-biggest bank, and National Bank of Canada, the sixth-largest lender, by one notch. The agency also lowered its ratings on Central 1 Credit Union, Caisse centrale Desjardins, Home Capital Group Inc. and Laurentian Bank of Canada by one grade.

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Canada one of few countries with unblemished debt rating

Canada is one of only six countries in the world that still holds a perfect credit rating by the largest ratings agencies.

And while that’s good for Canada, it’s creating a problem for investors, as the amount of so-called “risk-free” assets have plummeted in the wake of the financial crisis and ensuing debt crisis that is still raging in Europe.

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U.S. credit rating will be cut: Pimco

The sovereign credit rating of the U.S. will be cut as “fiscal theater” plays out in the world’s biggest economy, according to Pacific Investment Management Co., which runs the world’s largest bond fund.

“The U.S. will get downgraded, it’s a question of when,” Scott Mather, Pimco’s head of global portfolio management, said today in Wellington. “It depends on what the end of the year looks like, but it could be fairly soon after that.”

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