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S&P downgrade indicates Russia headed for historic default

By FRANK BAJAK
Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — The credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has downgraded its assessment of Russia’s ability to repay foreign debt. That indicates Moscow could soon default on external loans for the first time in more than a century. S&P Global Ratings issued the downgrade to “selective default” late Friday after Russia arranged to make foreign bond payments in rubles on Monday when they were due in dollars. It said it didn’t expect Russia to be able to convert the rubles into dollars within a 30-day grace period. Tightened sanctions placed on Russia this week bar it from using foreign reserves held in U.S. banks for debt payments.

Article Topic Follows: AP National Business

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