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Report: S&P Global Ratings acquitted in trial over Italian ratings

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Report: S&P Global Ratings acquitted in trial over Italian ratings

S&P Global Ratings and five former and current managers were acquitted by an Italian court of market manipulation charges that were brought following downgrades of the Italian sovereign, Reuters reported March 30.

An analyst at Fitch Ratings was also cleared, nearly a year after charges were dropped against the agency's Italian unit and Italian country chief, the report noted. A similar case against Moody's was dropped in 2012.

Prosecutors had alleged that the agencies mismanaged reports and ratings on the country and the Italian banking system during the 2011-2012 eurozone debt crisis, and that steep stock-market losses were a consequence. Prosecutor Michele Ruggero had sought fines of up to €500,000 and jail sentences of two to three years for the S&P managers accused in the case, as well as a €4.6 million fine against the agency.

Ruggero said a decision on whether to appeal will be made after the court publishes an explanation of its ruling, which typically takes place within 90 days, Reuters said.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.