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DBRS to conclude Italy review Jan. 13

DBRS intends to conclude its review of Italy's ratings Jan. 13, 2017, a spokesman for the agency told Reuters.

DBRS placed the country's long-term foreign- and local-currency issuer ratings of A(low) under review with negative implications in August, saying rising political uncertainty surrounding a referendum on constitutional reform had the potential to destabilize the government. The rating agency also pointed out at that time that the process of cleaning up Italian banks' balance sheets remained slow.

DBRS usually takes up to 90 days to conclude its reviews, but it extended the time frame to incorporate the Dec. 4 referendum's outcome. Italian voters rejected the proposed reforms, triggering Matteo Renzi's resignation as prime minister.

DBRS rates Italy the highest among four major credit rating agencies, Reuters noted in its Dec. 21 report. In case of a downgrade, the ECB would have to increase the discount on bonds used by banks as collateral in its refinancing operations, raising borrowing costs for struggling Italian lenders, according to the report.

The agency had previously reiterated that it would conclude the review by Feb. 3, 2017, at the latest.