Moody’s Hungary Downgrade ‘Premature,’ Varga Tells Nepszabadsag

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Moody’s Investors Service’s decision to cut Hungary’s sovereign credit rating by two levels yesterday was “premature,’ Mihaly Varga, the prime minister’s chief of staff, told Nepszabadsag.

Moody’s “may have been more influenced by the hysteria around private pension funds,” which the government is funneling into the budget, the Budapest-based daily cited Varga as saying.

Moody’s downgraded Hungary to Baa3, its lowest investment grade, with a negative outlook. The decision brought the Moody’s rating in line with Standard & Poor’s. Fitch Ratings ranks Hungary one step higher at BBB.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zoltan Simon in Budapest at zsimon@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Willy Morris at wmorris@bloomberg.net