Standard and Poor's lowers rating on ArcelorMittal
Standard and Poor's said Tuesday it had lowered its credit rating on ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, to BBB-minus from BBB, citing uncertainties surrounding the group's efforts to improve its operating results.
The new rating, one notch above speculative grade, was accompanied by a stable outlook from the agency.
S&P said in a statement that a recovery evident this year on the world steel market appeared to have stalled at a time when prices of raw materials had risen.
As a result, according to the agency, world steelmakers can expect sluggish growth in 2011.
ArcelorMittal last week warned that lower prices and weak demand in the fourth quarter would weigh on operating profits.
It said it expected an operating profit in the three months to December 31 of 1.5-1.9 billion dollars (1.07-1.36 billion euros), down from the 2.3 billion dollars reported for the third quarter.
© 2010 AFP