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Standard and Poor's lowers ratings for seven Italian banks

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(MILAN) - Standard & Poor's on Wednesday downgraded seven Italian banks after dropping Italy's sovereign rating to A/A-1 two days previously.

The long-term ratings of Mediobanca, Findomestic, Intesa Sanpaolo and their units Banca Imi, Cassa Risparmio Bologna and Biis were downgraded to A from A+. Their short-term ratings remain unchanged at A-1.

The rating of BNL was reduced to A+/A-1-.

Unicredit, Italy's biggest bank, escaped a ratings downgrade for the moment but was put on negative outlook.

Standard & Poor's on Monday downgraded Italy's sovereign debt rating, citing economic, fiscal and political weaknesses.

It came less than a week after Italy approved its second austerity programme in two months, envisaging 54.2 billion euros ($74.1 billion) in savings to bring Italy's budget back into balance in 2013.


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