Hungary pleads for time from agencies

City A.M. Reporter
HUNGARY hopes that credit rating agencies Fitch and S&P will wait for the results of its talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union (EU) before taking any rating action, a top government official said yesterday.

The country, whose economy is seen among the most vulnerable in central Europe, returned to the IMF for help after more than a year without a financing backstop, only to see its debt downgraded to “junk” by Moody’s, triggering a market selloff.

The right-of-centre government, which called the downgrade part of a speculative attack against the country, performed a dramatic about-face and agreed on Friday to mend ties with the EU, the IMF and the country's banks to stabilise the economy.