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Moody's downgrades Republic of Congo

Moody's downgraded the government issuer rating of theRepublic of Congo to B2 from B1 with a negative outlook.

The action reflects Moody's expectation of continuedmaterial and substantial deterioration in the country's government balance sheetin 2016 and 2017 due to the oil price slump, the rating agency said April 29.

It also reflects related pressures on the government'sliquidity position stemming from huge net financing requirements due to largefiscal deficits, and constrains on the country's financing options.

The negative outlook reflects downside risks on thegovernment's liquidity position.

At the same time, Moody's lowered the Republic of Congo'scountry and deposit ceilings to Ba2 from Ba1, driven by the rating downgrade.