S&P lowers Argentina outlook

● Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s lowered its outlook for Argentina’s sovereign debt rating last night in response to the country’s renationalisation plans. S&P said the South American nation’s “abrupt” seizure of oil group YPF underscores “the weakening system of checks and balances” in its government. The agency now has a negative outlook on Argentina’s highly speculative B rating, meaning it has a one in three chance of a downgrade in the next two years. Spanish oil major Respol, which owns 51 per cent of YPF, had earlier threatened legal action against companies that invest in YPF. The Spanish government has also promised economic sanctions in response to Argentina’s plans.