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Fitch says Argentina default is 'probable'

Associated Press Modified: November 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm •  Published: November 27, 2012
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Ratings by agencies like Fitch are used by investors to evaluate the safety of a country's debt. Lower ratings can make it more expensive for countries to borrow money on the bond market, exacerbating their financial problems.

Argentina is in a deepening recession and is grappling with social unrest. Besides the court case, Fitch cited a "tense and polarized political climate" and public dissatisfaction with high inflation, weak infrastructure and currency.

Fitch also said that Argentina's economy has slowed sharply this year.

Of the two other major rating agencies, Standard & Poor's has a rating of "B-" for Argentina, five steps above default, and Moody's rates it "B3 negative," also five steps above default.