Italy raids S&P offices in Milan following downgrade

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August 6, 2011

Italian authorities seized documents from the Milan offices of ratings agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service on Thursday. The seizure was part of an investigation that the two agencies were allegedly engaged in dubious movements in domestic share prices.

Carlo Maria Capistro, head of the prosecutor’s office in Trani which led the raid, said the action sought to verify if the two agencies followed Italian regulations in carrying out their business.

S&P and Moody’s said the probe has no basis. The raid is seen as the eurozone government’s way of getting back at ratings agencies, which recently downgraded the credit rating of Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

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The political angle of the Italian raid becomes apparent since Italy and Spain are said to be on the list of nations due for a downgrade.

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