Slovenia Suing Moody’s for Gatecrashing Bond Issue?


Bratušek told Saturday's edition of Večer that Slovenia would likely first write to Moody's to check on the reasons for such a timing of the ratings cut, but that she was otherwise inclined to take the ratings agency to court.

She believes that a lawsuit would make sense, because "no rating agency can allow itself to do what they did".

Moody's cut Slovenia's credit rating from Baa2 to the high-risk Ba1 in the midst of the 30 April sale of dollar-denominated bonds. Slovenia, which maintains it got no advance warning from the agency, halted the sale temporarily before successfully closing it a day later.

Bratušek reiterated that Slovenia was not warned by Moody's in advance. The Finance Ministry was in touch with Moody's prior to the sale, but the ratings agency did not indicate that it would issue a new credit rating during the sale, she said.

"If they had made any indication of this, Finance Minister Uroš Čufer…would not have pushed ahead with the sale."

Meanwhile, the prime minister rebuffed as "pure speculation" unofficial information carried by Slovenian media that the European Commission was not satisfied with Slovenia's annual reform programme.

An official assessment will be available by the end of this month, she said, adding that the final document Slovenia sent to Brussels was much better than the draft, which had been forwarded a week earlier and which Slovenia polished up in coordination with the Commission.

Moreover, the prime minister turned down assessments that the EU was pressuring Slovenia, saying that Slovenia simply had to "put certain things at home in order". Borrowing on top of borrowing will not solve things, she said.

Bratušek expects no problems with Brussels in Slovenia securing an extension to bring its budget deficit below 3% of GDP, as a number of other countries have already been granted such an extension.

Asked about the financing of efforts to fix Slovenia's ailing banks, Bratušek said the cost of this would be recouped in the coming years with the sale of the assets transferred to the bad bank. She said that the five years envisaged for the sale of these assets in the bad bank act was too short, as the sale should not take place under pressure.

Asked whether she would lead the Positive Slovenia (PS) party into the next election, Bratušek said she was not thinking about that now, adding that a party congress which should be held some time before the election campaign would decide on this.