ECB head criticises oligopoly of rating agencies

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The "oligopolistic structure" of international credit rating agencies is probably undesirable, the head of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet said on Thursday.

"It is clear that there is an element of procyclicality which is embedded in the functioning of the credit rating agencies that is not optimal," Trichet said.

"It's also clear that a small group, a small oligopolistic structure, is not what is probably desireable at the level of global finance," he added.

Trichet said that the ECB disapproved of a decision by Moody's rating agency to slash its ratings on indebted Portugal to junk status, roiling financial markets concerned that the eurozone debt crisis is spreading from Greece to other countries.

© 2011 AFP

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