Venezuela Cut Deeper Into Junk by S&P as Default Risk Surges

The world’s riskiest credit got another jolt after S&P Global Ratings lowered Venezuela’s rating deeper into junk as the economy spirals down amid heightened political tension.

S&P reduced the nation’s long-term foreign and local currency ratings to CCC-, or three notches below investment grade, from CCC on Tuesday. The New York-based company kept its negative outlook for Venezuela, signaling room for further downgrades. Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service also rank the country at speculative levels. 

“Recent developments have raised the risk of default, including through a debt exchange that we would view as a distressed exchange, within the next six months, absent unanticipated significant improvement in Venezuela’s economic and political conditions,” S&P analysts led by Manuel Orozco wrote in a statement on Tuesday.

Speculation on a Venezuelan default is mounting as international reserves tumble amid anti-government protests and President Nicolas Maduro’s push to rewrite the constitution. The implied probability of

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