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Spain ‘surprised’ by Moody’s views on Portugal

Spain was surprised by some of Moody’s arguments when it downgraded Portugal’s debt rating to junk status, Finance Minister Elena Salgado said Wednesday.

Moody’s argument that Portugal will have trouble raising money from the debt markets perhaps beyond the second half of 2013 was a surprise because it seemed “premature,” Salgado said in an interview with AFP.

New York-based Moody’s Investors Service slashed its credit rating on Portugal on Tuesday by four notches to Ba2 from Baa1.

It warned that bailed-out Portugal may need a second round of financing, and could be be unable to borrow on the debt markets at sustainable rates before the second half of 2013, possible even later.

“Some of the arguments were a surprise,” Salgado said.

“When you say now as one of the arguments that Portugal will have difficulties gong to the market in the second half of 2013 that seems to us premature,” she added.

Salgado said she did not want to comment in general on rating agencies’ judgements on other countries.